Serbia: Journalists’ union SINOS protests against forced privatisation of media

Journalists’ Union of Serbia (SINOS, EFJ-IFJ affiliate) and the Professional Association of Journalists of Serbia (PROUNS) held today (08/07/2015) an indignation rally outside the building of the Serbian Constitutional Court. SINOS members demanded the Constitutional Court to take into consideration the initiative for assessing the constitutionality of the new law on public information submitted by several media associations almost a year ago. According to SINOS, the new law could hamper the transparency of media ownership resulting in some tycoons and political parties owning most of the media. In August 2014, the Serbian Parliament adopted a new package of media legislation (Law on…

Belgium: Less than 18% of people interviewed by journalists are women

A study led by the Belgian association of professional journalists (AJP, EFJ affiliate) on diversity and equality shows that women make less than 18% of people interviewed in French speaking dailies, which is 5 times less than men. The new figures show no progress in this field since the last survey conducted in 2011 by AJP and are below the world average of 24% across all media. Women are rarely quoted in information related to sports (7%), politics (18%), environment (16%) or in news analysis. The study also shows that women have greater presence in areas such as education (37%), health and well-being…

International seminar: how to counter online hate speech?

Rising hatred and extremism on online platforms is a new challenge for journalists. Their work is getting much harder in a political climate marked by hatred and discrimination. The need for accurate and truthful reporting is more important than ever. “How to deal with hate speech and freedom of expression in the daily editorial work”: the issue will be discussed during the coming international seminar organised in Florence, Italy, by Associazione Carta di Roma and Arci, with the contribution of the Robert Kennedy Foundation Europe, Cospe and LSDI (Libertà di Stampa e Diritto all’Informazione). The European Federation of Journalists will also participate to the…

Commissioner Muiznieks: “Media freedom in Bulgaria is threatened by a combination of practices”

“Despite existing legal guarantees, media freedom in Bulgaria is currently impeded or threatened by a combination of practices which, taken together, create an environment conducive to widespread self- censorship among journalists and undue external pressure on media,” said the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks in a special report published today (22/06/2015) about the situation of human rights and media freedom in Bulgaria. “This new report published by the Commissioner for Human Rights confirms the bad reputation of the Bulgarian media. The country is regularly named as the lowest ranking European Union member state for media freedom in several international…

MEP Silvia Costa to support seminar on the future of journalism

On 27 May, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) had a constructive meeting with Silvia Costa, the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education (CULT). Silvia Costa (S&D, Italy) who had signed the EFJ Manifesto, reiterated her strong support for its principles outlined and showed readiness to stand-up for them. As former journalist, Costa discussed with great interest on the various issues: how to improve media ownership transparency, media literacy,  training for journalists, authors’ rights, new financial models and start-ups  for journalists — all within the changing media landscape and its impact on journalists’ work as a…

Media freedom tops agenda of Eastern Partnership Summit

The media landscape in Eastern Europe remains challenging for journalists. How to ensure the legal, regulatory and policy environment is favourable for the development of independent media? What are the factors impacting on the development of professional media in the countries of the EaP region? These will be the questions explored by EU policy makers, media experts, journalists and civil society representatives ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summitt held by the Latvian Presidency of the European Council to evaluate EU relations with partners countries. European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by its president, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, will attend the first…

Lunch time debate: investigative journalism in practice, 23 April

What does it mean in practice to carry out investigative journalism today? What conditions are necessary to offer journalists an optimal environment to undertake their work? How are global networks changing the game? In view of recent relevation about bank secrecy covered by the media and investigative journalists, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will organise a media lunchtime talk on investigative journalism at 12:30 (CEST) Thursday 23 April 2015. The debate focuses on the importance of  investigative Journalism, the difficult conditions and environments where journalists work as well as the challenges…

MEPs call for action to ensure media pluralism in Europe

In a conference organised by the European Parliament on “Monitoring media freedom and pluralism in Europe”, Members of the European Parliaments (MEPs) called for actions to be taken by member states and European institutions to guarantee media freedom and pluralism. The conference hosted by MEP Silvia Costa (Chair of Culture and Education Committee) and MEP Claude Moraes (Chairs of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee) debated with stakeholders, including representative of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Renate Schroeder. In particular, MEPs have highlighted the Media Pluralism Monitoring tool as a way to trigger further action among member states…

Belgium: Defending journalists’ rights in a federal system

On Saturday (28/02/2015), the Association des journalistes professionnels (AJP, representing the journalists in the French and German speaking part of Belgium) and the Vlaamse vereniging van journalisten (VVJ, representing the journalists in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium), both EFJ affiliates under the federal umbrella organization called AGJPB-AVBB, held their annual congress at the House of Journalists in Brussels. Unlike many other countries in Europe, AJP and VVJ are not classical trade union organisations but they are registered as non-profit professional unions. They are considered by the authorities and other civil society organisations as the legitimate representative of professional journalists and…

Danish daily launches project to improve media coverage of women and minorities

In wake of the events taking place in Copenhagen last weekend, the Danish newspaper Politiken, launches today a project to improve diversity in the news and newsroom practices. According to the chief editor, Anne Mette Svane, the projest is ” about making better journalism”. ”We must be more aware of sensitive issues and question ourselves whether we have done enough in our reporting to reflect the reality;” said Mette Svane. The goals of the project are to achieve an equal representation of women in its news and increase its media coverage of ethnic minorities for at least 10% by 2018. The…

EU copyright reform needs to address fairness in creative sector

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, told EU policy-makers to address the unfair contractual practices in the media and creative sectors in a meeting organised by the European Parliament working group on intellectual property rights and copyright reform in Strasburg. Addressing members of the working group, Blicher Bjerregård says, “The biggest challenge facing journalists today is the unfair contractual practices that deprived the right of journalists from receiving fair payment for their work. “The imbalance in negotiation power between media organisations and individual journalists allows this to happen.” You can read the full speech…