Examining and assessing PSM editorial guidelines of the Western Balkans

A new publication on editorial guidelines or codes of conduct in the public service media of the Western Balkans was drafted by Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and presented during a launching event of the EU-funded project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans” in Tirana, Albania, in June 2018. The project is managed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in close cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), in collaboration with the EFJ, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Office of the Eurovision News Exchange…

Major questions about journalists in Portugal: Precarity, low wages, gender gap and early retirement

A survey in Portugal, performed by University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), aimed at analyzing the working conditions of Portuguese journalists, exploring the diversity of journalists, and identifying the main constraints and challenges. Almost 1 500 journalists were surveyed between 1st of May and 13th of June, 2016, with 78 questions on the current situation and their future, for the data to be comparable to international data. There are 6 161 journalists holding a professional licence or its equivalent in Portugal, according to The Comissão da Carteira Profissional de Jornalista (CCPJ), 16th March 2018, with 51.8% male and 48.2% female journalists. The survey…

Report about fact-finding mission to Estonia and Lithuania

A new report about the fact-finding mission conducted by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) which investigated the media situation in Estonia and Lithuania from 22 to 24 January can be found here. Members of the mission interviewed almost 30 experts: representatives of the government, academia, press councils, public service media, journalists‘ organisations, investigative journalists, editors-in-chief and CEOs of major media companies. The two Baltic states were chosen in the wake of a wave of disinformation spread by Russian specialists during the US election campaign. The question, whether the comparatively small societies of Estonia and…

Turkey: Press freedom on trial

The EFJ is closely following the proceedings that started on Monday 24 July in Istanbul against 17 prominent journalists, editors and board members of Cumhuriyet newspaper, including Can Dündar, Kadri Gürsel, Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık. EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård participated in the court case on 24-25 July and met several journalists and EFJ affiliates. Below a personal account of his impressions: Press freedom must be protected, and not put on trial as it has happened this week in Istanbul with the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet. 17 journalists and executives are accused in a completely political and fabricated way for…

#MPM2016: No country free of risk on media pluralism, shows report

In 2016, the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) examined media freedom and pluralism indicators in 28 European countries as well as in Montenegro and Turkey, two applicant countries. The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) released on Friday (19/05/2017) the report which shows alarming trends, in particular when it comes to journalistic profession including working conditions, safety, protection of sources, access and the role of unions and associations in protecting journalists. The report especially emphasized that no country is free from risks when it comes to media pluralism. The risks were examined under different aspects and potential threats, related to…

President’s speech at the EFJ Annual Meeting 2017, Bucharest

Speech by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (EFJ President) Journalism in Europe is facing critical times. Media and politics are in an increasing conflict across Europe. More than ever, the fundamental pillar of our democracies, credible – high quality – investigative – journalism is crucial for the citizens. Journalism including all media-workers providing content. Across Europe we have three big challenges: Safety of journalists and journalism How to counter the increasing conflict between media and politics Build social dialogue Being innovative in finding new business models Three journalists have been killed in Europe since our general meeting in Sarajevo – in Ukraine, Turkey and…

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…

Stop impunity, nobody should be free to kill journalists

by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President 827 journalists were killed during the last decade and paid the ultimate price for exercising their job. An appalling and worrying fact documented by the biannual report from the Director General at UNESCO. The safety of journalists and fighting impunity was on top of the agenda during the UNESCO IPDC Council meeting, 17th-18th November 2016 in Paris. IPDC is an UNESCO program for safety of journalists, press freedom and media development. As the representative of Denmark, I delivered the following speech: Eight hundred and twenty seven, 827 journalists, have been killed since 2006. This is…

Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Stronger Unions in Europe – New handbook launched

In the past years, the media industry has undergone drastic changes due to the emergence of new technologies in the way news are produced and consumed as well as the structural changes driven by the economic crisis. Journalists’ organisations themselves also undergo changes to renew their commitment and strategies to counter new challenges. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched a handbook within the framework of a project, ‘‘Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Strong Unions in Europe’’, showcasing best practices of journalists’ organisations undertaken to tackle new challenges. The handbook was launched in a final conference held in Zagreb…

President speech at EFJ General Meeting 2016, Sarajevo

Speech by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (EFJ President) Ladies and Gentlemen – distinguished delegates, observers and guests! International solidarity among journalist unions and association is of huge importance as cross border activities in Europe are constantly increasing. Being in Sarajevo listening yesterday at the pre-meeting to the challenges and encouragement you have in Bosnia & Hercegovina, the Balkans, The South Eastern Europe, there is an inspiration of hope. You have the severe problems in collective bargaining, in getting journalists to understand at all, that they have rights, but it is impressive to understand how meet this. After several conferences in this region of…

Speak up 3 Conference: Freedom of expression in the Western Balkans and Turkey

This speech is given by the EFJ President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, at the Speak up 3 Conference: Freedom of expression in the Western Balkans and Turkey, held in Brussels on 4 November 2015.   Media, journalists and their organisations in Western Balkans and Turkey are operating in an environment where a lack of respect for the fundamental rights of journalists poses threat to the safety of journalists and media freedom. An important message that has been echoed from conference to conference like this – it is impossible to have quality, independent journalism without decent working conditions. Labour rights are a prerequisite…

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