EP vote on copyright directive: some ups and downs

Following months of debates and controversial discussions, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted today its position on a Proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital single market. The International and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) applauds the positive outcome of the vote regarding the transparency triangle but warns against dangerous provision that are directly affecting journalists’ authors’ rights. The IFJ and EFJ join the voices of European authors’ organisations in welcoming the backing by an overwhelming majority of eurodeputies of the transparency triangle forcing publishers and broadcasters to provide regular reporting on the exploitation…

Hands off our authors rights, say journalists ahead of EP vote on copyright directive

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee will vote tomorrow on a landmark Directive that could have positive effects on journalists’ authors’ rights and on our profession’s revenues. However, a number of amendments have been tabled to jeopardise significant benefits for journalists. While the current draft proposal to be voted on tomorrow introduces some key elements that would strengthen journalists’ bargaining power, namely a transparency obligation on their media employers to report on the exploitation that is made of journalistic works, several amendments clearly intend to seriously reduce the scope of the transparency obligation. One of the most controversial issues in…

German journalists strike after fifth negotiation round ends without agreement

Newspaper journalists went on strike all over Germany on 28 May 2018 after the fifth round of negotiations for a collective agreement between publishers and two German journalist unions, the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Journalisten Union (dju in ver.di), in Berlin ended without a result. For the last few months, the DJV and dju in ver.di, the German affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have been in negotiations with the Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) to improve the working conditions for around 13,000 editors at daily newspapers. The negotiations were accompanied by numerous warning strikes…

1700 journalists on strike at Norwegian public broadcaster NRK

Update 24.05.2018: After negotiations for a collective agreement with the Norwegian Public Broadcasting (NRK), the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) managed to win on all main demands on 23 May 2018 in Oslo. The 1700 journalist members of the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) at the Norwegian Public Service Broadcasting NRK went on strike today, after negotiations and mediation did not lead to a new collective agreement. The European Federation of Journalists and the Broadcasting Expert group expressed their solidarity with the journalists on strike at NRK and NJ. According to the EFJ affiliate, NJ, the NRK wants to replace around…

Exploitation of freelance journalists is a threat to our democracy

By Renate Schroeder, Director of the European Federation of Journalists The gap between the incomes of the diminishing number of journalists with stable contracts and the growing band of freelances in Europe is getting bigger. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Freelance Expert Group (FREG) are appalled by this worsening situation. Such unfair pay practices cannot continue, since an increasing proportion of editorial content is written and produced by freelance journalists. This has an impact on the quality of journalism and, in the end, on democracy itself. That is why the EFJ has been supporting the ETUC’s PayRise…

Young journalists in Germany demand better pay for better journalism

A delegation of about 20 young German journalists together with the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Journalisten Union (dju in ver.di) met with publishers to demand better working conditions on 25 April 2018 in Berlin. They insisted that publishers have to invest in the future generation of journalists or the “generation Erasmus” will leave and with them the young topics that attract young readers. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly supports the demands for investing in young journalists. This happened in the context of very difficult negotiations between the unions, DJV and dju in ver.di and the publishers association…

Norwegian Union of Journalists signs freelance framework agreement

The Norwegian Media Businesses’ Association (MBL) signed an unprecedented  framework agreement for freelance journalists with the Norwegian affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), concerning purchase, sale and copyrights of freelance materials on Wednesday, 21 March 2018.  The NJ had been in negotiations with the MBL to establish this framework agreement since April 2016. The purpose of the agreement is to ensure predictable frameworks for freelance jobs. The framework agreement will take effect on 1 April 2018. It requires an individual agreement to be concluded between the freelancer and the employer. The NJ and the MBL will prepare templates for  agreements which…

EFJ Workshop: Digital journalism and new business models

36 journalists, union leaders and media experts from 20 European countries discussed issues around new business models and trends in (digital) journalism from 15-16 March 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. With great enthusiasm participants explored recent trends in journalism,  successful new models in financing journalism and the role of unions and associations to best service their members in this process of change. The first panel “What is trending in journalism” included academics, publishers and an editor in chief from a local newspaper, all giving interesting insights in changes in the media eco-system,  its impact on the work of journalists, use of…

Switzerland: Clear votum for public service media

For the two EFJ member organisations in Switzerland,  impressum and syndicom the very clear no to “No Billag” confirms that the Swiss population wants to preserve quality media. 71% voted against #Nobillag in yesterday’s referendum. The “No Billag” initiative – a reference to the Billag firm that collects the media licensing fee – divided Switzerland along political and generational lines. The majority of the population does not want to set aside public service media and is aware that media pluralism is in danger, if one can only rely on private and commercial media, says syndicom. The public referendum against «No Billag» has confirmed the…

EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions

Responding today to the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, welcomed some important improvements, although this reform is not the game-changer unions needed or expected. “Many of the provisions in this new measure, replacing the Written Statement Directive, represent a significant improvement. For example, all workers will be entitled to a written statement from the first day of employment. This means seasonal agriculture, domestic, on-demand, intermittent, voucher-based and platform workers will be effectively covered. And the Directive goes further in proposing very helpful provisions to ensure that online platforms…

openMedia: exposing commercial influence on news media

The recently launched openMedia project aims to investigate and expose commercial interference in editorial decisions. The project is run by openDemocracy with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) as a partner alongside the Index on Censorship and King’s College London. The project believes that there has not been enough of a concerted, ongoing spotlight on the extent and effects of commercial influence over the media, despite the dangerous consequences it poses for press freedom. For now, the project focuses on 47 countries across Europe but also has ambitions to expand. Despite the recent launch, the project is adamant that it…