European Federation of Journalists

Freelancers in Belgium: wages remain precariously low

Freelance fees in the french-speaking Belgium haven’t developed for more than ten years. That reveals the latest inquiry “Les tarifs de la pige”, published on 05 August by our Belgian affiliate Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels (AJP). The fourth edition of the study shows, some tariffs of freelance-journalists have remained on the same precarious level since it was first raised in 2007 – and some even dropped below. But it doesn’t have to be like that, says Sophie Lejoly, Deputy Secretary General of the AJP. Whether it’s newspapers, magazines, web editions, TV or radio, public or private media – the…

World Press Freedom Day: IFJ and EFJ stand up for safe and independent elections coverage

To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May, journalists from across the world are joining forces to launch tips for safe and fair coverage of elections at a time when politicians and their supporters are increasingly turning their fire on reporters. The EFJ supports IFJ campaign exposing the abuse of power, disinformation, internet shutdowns, self-censorship, harassment and violence as ongoing challenges facing journalists when reporting elections. The campaign is calling on governments to ensure a safe working environment for journalists to allow them to report with full objectivity, impartiality and balance and on all politicians not to stigmatise media. This…

Belgium enforces largely opposed €50 security check fee to cover the EU

The Belgian government passed a bill  or “Taxe Michel” forcing media workers (journalists and technicians), residing in Belgium or Belgian, to pay a mandatory €50 fee for the security screening document it delivers to authorize access to EU events. It debuted at last October’s EU Summit. The Belgian Union of Journalists (AJP) opposed the law 6 months ago to no avail. About 1000 journalists, either Belgian or residing in Belgium, will be forced to pay the fee. Belgium has now started billing journalists or their employers and the European Federation of Journalist joins the AJP ‘s recommendation to refuse to…

Expertalia: A tool for journalists to diversify sources

The Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP), a member of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched a web tool Expertalia, an expert directory for media professionals with the aim to diversify media sources in media reporting. The initiative, supported by the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, aims to bring more equality and diversity in the use of experts by the media. Expertalia is a tool targeting at journalists with the aim to renew their sources of information by offering new experts from a diverse background. To date, Expertalia lists 200 experts in various fields (science, law, economics, society, etc), active in research,…

Belgium : protection of sources under threats

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have alerted the Council of Europe about new worrying threats in Belgium against the protection of journalistic sources and the status of journalists. The Minister of Justice of Belgium, Koen Geens, announced his intention to increase sentences for violation of professional secrecy, which would permit wiretapping or computer tracing of journalists’ sources. According to media reports, the Minister also has plans to allow intelligence services to “withdraw the protection linked to the status of professional journalist” if these services consider that the beneficiary of that legal status in Belgium is not really a…

Belgian Journalist Philippe Leruth elected as IFJ President

Delegates of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) meeting at the 29th World Congress in Angers elected Philippe Leruth, member of the Belgian Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels de Belgique (AGJPB) as president of their organization on 9 June 2016. Journalist at the daily L’Avenir, Philippe Leruth was vice-president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European organisation of the IFJ, from 2004 to 2013, and AGJPB president from 1995 to 2005. He is taking over from departing British President, Jim Boumelha, who headed the IFJ from 2007 to 2016. “The first challenge is to restore IFJ unity” said the newly elected…

Commission launches action against Poland following EU-wide protest

Journalists, broadcasters and media freedom organisations have gathered this morning (13/01/2016) in front of the Polish Embassy in Brussels protesting against new attempt by the Polish government to control the media while the European Commission was discussing possible action against Poland. The EFJ has been heavily criticising the new law in the past weeks accusing Poland of violating European law on media freedom. It has written to the European Commission calling for prompt action against Poland. Today, the European Commission has discussed the first time at its college meeting the case of Poland and decided to launch action against Poland under…

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