Finland: disproportionate defamation case against journalist

 Johanna Vehkoo, a Finnish journalist, has been found guilty of defaming local city counselor Junes Lokka by referring to him as a racist and ‘nazi clown’ in a 2016 Facebook post. The politician is known as an anti-immigration activist with a history of making far-right extreme pronouncements, for which he was fined. Vehkoo  has written extensively about ‘fake’ news, hate speech and the problems they pose for journalism. The court found that Vehkoo’s comments on her Facebook page constituted a personal attack on Lokka and that she did not focus her criticism on his politics.  She was ordered to pay…

Media Against Hate Conference calls for higher ethical standards and effective self-regulation in journalism

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) held the final conference of the 18-month campaign ”Media Against Hate” to counter hate speech in the media in Brussels, on 5-6 March 2018. The conference was attended by around 60 participants from all over Europe including journalists, community media, media regulators, journalists’ unions, IT companies and policymakers. Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media opened the conference with a keynote speech. He emphasised high ethical standards in journalism and effective self-regulation are key to combat hate speech and disinformation in the media. Mr. Désir said, ” This is a challenging…

Manifesto of Venice against gender-based violence

The “Manifesto of Venice”, a manifesto for gender equality and correct information, will be launched on the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, on 25 November 2017. Signed by 800 journalists, including directors of national newspapers in Italy, the manifesto will be launched by the EFJ affiliate in Italy, the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI) Equal Opportunities Committee (CPO). It is a result of their collaboration with the CPO of Unione Sindacale Giornalisti Rai and Giornaliste Unite Libere Autonome (GiULiA), following a proposal by the Veneto Journalists’ Union. “We, journalist signatories of the Manifesto of Venice, are…

Berlin forum: With quality against lies and hate in the net

How to deal with audiences, how to create trust, how to create facts instead of fakes and what must be done for good journalism to survive. This and many other central questions around fake and facts were discussed on 16 October at the ninth Forum of the “Initiative Qualität im Journalismus (IQ)” in Berlin with about 80 media experts. Professor Tanjev Schultz said that given the speed of false news and propaganda in today’s social media, good journalism is ever more important and can only survive when it is  better than its “loud critic” offer. He explained that lack of…

How to ensure editorial independence in the newsroom?

Journalists are facing increasing economic and political pressure hampering editorial independence in the newsrooms, concluded 20 journalists who attended the two-day workshop on Promoting editorial independence in the newsrooms. It was co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) on 29 & 30 August with the financial support of the European Union. The workshop was also supported by the Association des journalistes Professionnels (AJP, Belgium) alongside their yearly Summer School for young journalists in Belgium. Journalists coming from 13 European countries (including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, France, Finland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Russia,…

Media Against Hate: Humanity, accuracy and accountability are key principles when covering migration

Twenty-five journalists from 12 countries gathered in Zagreb (Croatia) on 26 and 27 May to attend a workshop on the theme “Reporting Refugees, Migrants, Ethnicity” co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA). Journalists gathered at the workshop on reporting refugees in Zagreb. #mediaagainsthate pic.twitter.com/KhrkjXHR6I — Gašper Andrinek (@Caspersek) May 26, 2017 Croatia had little contact with migrants from the Middle East until 2015. But the country is now welcoming some migrants and the media, as well as the population, are experiencing some difficulties in dealing with it. The participants, all working on migration issues in their own countries, were given…

Quality Press and its development in Russia’s regions

“The influence of propaganda and self-censorship, new channels of distribution and the attractiveness of Internet to the youth are all challenges we have to find best practice”, said Liubov Petrova, director general of the media group “journalist” at the beginning of a major media forum on developments and perspectives for quality press in Russia. About 200 editors’ in chief, publishers and journalists from throughout Russia joined these two days meeting covering new and traditional media trends, problems of press subscription, digital challenges and new technologies. The quality of the content has decreased, advertisement revenue has decreased, subscriptions have decreased while…

UNESCO launches a handbook for journalists covering terrorism

The UNESCO launched on Thursday (02.02.2017) at the Press Club Brussels Europe its new publication “Terrorism in the Media: A Handbook for Journalists” written by Jean-Paul Marthoz, Belgian journalist and longtime press freedom and human rights activist. Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, presented the handbook together with the author. What to do in a hostage situation? Should journalists help the victims first? Should they refrain from disseminating some information at authorities’ request? The handbook provides key advices and reflection to media and journalists in the situation of covering a terrorist attack. It also…

#MediaAgainstHate : When the last thing to do is responding to racist comments online

“When your child dies, everything dies. When your child dies, the world stops turning. The last thing a father would have to do, the really last thing, is respond to racist comments”, wrote VRT journalist Fatma Taspinar. During the latest terror attack in Istanbul (31/12/2016), a Belgian-Turkish citizen Kerim A. (23 years old) was among the 39 victims killed. Shortly after the publication of his name, many racist comments related to the supposed ethnic or religious background of the victim were shared by social media users on Twitter and Facebook. The online spreading of openly racist comments have deeply (for a second time) affected the…

The future of news is linked to journalists’ working conditions

On 1st December, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) invited the EFJ, digital start-ups and media groups to discuss  “Media adaptation strategies and expectations” together with representatives of the Council of Europe government representatives. Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism of Oxford University, presented at the outset the results of a recent study on Challenges and opportunities for news media and journalism in an increasingly digital, mobile and social media environment –   prepared for the Council of Europe on this topic. “The move to an…

More solidarity needed while reporting on migration issues

More solidarity among journalists is needed to improve the rights of freelancers working in conflict zones and to support the work of local journalists on the ground, agreed the participants of the workshop “Interpreting crisis: Reporting on Migration, Asylum Seekers and Syrian conflict”. The event took place on 24 October 2016 at the IFJ-EFJ headquarters in Brussels and was co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Finnish Institute in London, the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Felm and MDI. The participants were concerned that the leading newspapers are not sending their own correspondents, not even using reports…

Load more