We demand justice for Lyra McKee and safety for Northern Ireland journalists

Sunday 18 April 2021 marks two years since Lyra McKee was shot dead while reporting on riots in Derry. Still no one has been convicted of her murder. As we honour Lyra McKee and reiterate our call for justice, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in expressing our grave concern over the recent increase in attacks and threats to journalists and media workers in Northern Ireland. A talented and courageous investigative journalist, McKee, in her writing on the consequences of the Troubles for a host of domestic and international outlets, tackled issues…

France: Journalist’s car sabotaged

Journalist Morgan Large discovered last week that her car had been sabotaged, with two bolts removed from a wheel. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) have strongly condemned the attack and urged the French authorities to investigate the case immediately and take measures to ensure the safety of journalists and freedom of information in the region. Morgan Large works for the bilingual French-Breton Radio Kreiz Breizh and is known for her investigations into the agriculture sector in the Brittany region. The sabotage of her car parked close to her house is the latest act of intimidation against her…

Italy: massive violation of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources

In March 2021, three NGOs, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Jugend Rettet, have been probed by the prosecutors department in the Sicilian city of Trapani for aiding illegal immigration. In the course of this investigation, the police and prosecutors engaged in a massive violation of the confidentiality of sources of dozens of journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Italian affiliate, the FNSI, in demanding an explanation from the Italian authorities. According to reports in the Italian press on 2 April, investigators seeking to establish links between migrant rescue operations at sea and traffickers apparently…

Netherlands: New violent attacks against journalists around church services

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined today the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in condemning the violence directed at journalists and media workers on Sunday 28 March in several Dutch cities and calling for increased protection. On Sunday 28 March, several journalists were reporting from churches in the towns of Krimpen aan den Ijssel and Urk about the gathering of hundreds of churchgoers despite strict anti-coronavirus regulations. Hostile and aggressive behaviour from individual churchgoers, sometimes leading to physical violence, soon followed and made it very difficult for journalists to continue their reporting. In Krimpen, Jacco van Giessen, a…

Montenegro: EFJ-IFJ condemn judicial persecution of journalist Jovo Martinović

In a statement published today, leading international press freedom and journalists’ organisations, Including EFJ and IFJ, condemn the continued judicial persecution of Montenegrin investigative journalist, Jovo Martinović after his appeal was rejected. Leading press freedom and journalists’ organisations, including Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, strongly condemn the decision by the Court of Appeals to reject Jovo Martinović’s appeal and uphold the first instance verdict of the High Court in Podgorica which convicted Martinović to 12 months of prison. While he will not be imprisoned due to time already spent behind bars, Jovo Martinović will have a criminal record, solely…

How to build trust and engage audiences? Our takeaways from journalism experts

How can audience engagement and artificial intelligence help regain trust in quality journalism in an age of information overload and disinformation? This and further related questions were at the core of the Trust in media webinars taking place on 25 and 26 March. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) hosted two webinars as part of the Trust and quality in journalism project, which is co-funded by the European Commission. Here is a summary of the main themes and statements expressed during these webinars. Spread over two days, eight distinguished speakers and two moderators shared their knowledge and research on how…

Human Rights Commissioner: “It is high time for Hungary to restore journalistic and media freedoms”

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, has called on the Hungarian authorities today to restore journalistic and media freedoms.The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the Commissioner’s call and demands the EU to investigate the process of state capture of media in Hungary. “The combined effects of a politically controlled media regulatory authority and distortionary state intervention in the media market have eroded media pluralism and freedom of expression in Hungary”, said Dunja Mijatović, in a Memorandum published today. Since 2010, the Hungarian government has systematically undermined independent and professional journalism, thus curtailing the free exchange…

EFJ joined the CASE coalition against abusive lawsuits in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) to end the practice of abusive lawsuits against journalists and human rights defenders. The  CASE website was officially launched on Friday 26 March 2021 in an event hosted by Greenpeace EU. Thirty media freedom and environmental organisations across Europe, including the EFJ, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Project Journalists, Greenpeace, Transparency International, have united to work to expose legal harassment, protect SLAPP victims and advocate for comprehensive protective measures and reform at the European level. Generally pursued by wealthy and powerful litigants, SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against…

Norway: Mandatory quarantine rule for foreign journalists must be amended

The Norwegian government has decided it will require a mandatory quarantine of 10 days for all foreign journalists on assignment in Norway. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliate, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), in its call for an urgent amendment to a measure that will make it almost impossible for foreign journalists to report in Norway. The NJ, along with national media and editors associations wrote to the government calling for exemptions for foreign journalists on assignment in Norway from the country’s Covid-19 regulations. According to the NJ, the quarantine obligation is problematic because it will make it virtually…

Belarus: leaders of journalists’ organisations in Europe call on heads of governments to take action

Leaders of 50 journalists’ unions and associations in 34 European countries today called on their governments to intensify pressure and take action in the face of constant violations of human rights and press freedom in Belarus. In a joint letter, they urge their head of government to demand from the Belarusian authorities the immediate release of the 12 imprisoned journalists and the withdrawal of administrative and criminal proceedings against Belarusian journalists. On the initiative of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), the leaders of 50 journalists’ organisations in 34…