CoE Commissioner for Human Rights concerned about safety of journalists in Serbia

“Serbia has to establish an adequate environment for media work” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, following a four-day follow-up visit to the country carried out from 19 to 22 February 2018. As concerns freedom of the media, the Commissioner noted the agreement of all media actors that he met that Serbia has a solid legislative framework governing this field. ”Serbia also has great investigative journalists, some of whom have been presented with prestigious international awards. The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, whose importance for investigative journalists’ work cannot be overstated, is a…

Council of Europe: 114 MPs demand further investigation of Daphne Caruana Galizia case

114 MPs from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have signed a motion demanding an international monitoring on the investigation of the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The motion was signed at Strasbourg but has not yet been discussed in the Assembly. The signatures were collected in a single day, well surpassing the 20 signatures needed to submit a motion, with representation from all political groups. The motion was proposed by Dutch politician Pieter Omtzigt, and calls for an international approach to investigating the case of the murdered journalist. “The Parliamentary Assembly believes that the international community…

“Information Disorders”: Council of Europe committee discusses recommendations to tackle fake news

At the meeting of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), from 5 to 8 December 2017, participants discussed a series of documents and recommendations currently relevant for journalists and media workers. A study by Claire Wardle and Hossein Derakhshan, commissioned by the Council of Europe, highlighted the various aspects of what the authors call “Information Disorders” (not “fake news”). These information disorders come in three forms: misinformation, disinformation and malinformation. Information disorders can be organised or unorganised, and are emotional, visual and repetitive. To counter information disorders, the authors recommend action by content providers…

Council of Europe Culture Committee asks governments to strenghten the status of journalists

The Culture Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted a draft resolution asking European governments to do more to protect media professionals, revising laws if necessary, as they state that media freedom is a “key prerequisite for the existence and development of a democratic society”. At a meeting in Bucharest on 4 December 2017, PACE Committee recognised the precarious nature of the current journalism profession, and the threats to journalistic values and freedoms. In response, PACE Committee unanimously adopted the draft resolution, asking governments of member states to assume their obligation to protect media professionals, to…

Workers’ Day: Media Freedom requires decent working conditions for journalists

“There can be no press freedom if journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear”… On this Workers’ Day, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly encourage journalists to share the motto of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Guaranteeing fair and decent working conditions to journalists is a precondition for media freedom. The study “Journalists under pressure” published on 20th April by the Council of Europe, based on a sample of 940 journalists reporting from 48 countries, shows that journalists in Europe are often exposed to serious pressure in their work, including intimidation and violence. As a consequence, many…

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…

Excessive restrictions on foreign broadcasters in Moldova

The European Federation of Journalists is strongly opposed to restrictions on foreign broadcasters in Moldova. The amendments to the Audio-visual Code under consideration by the Parliament in Moldova run counter to international standards on media freedom. On 7 July, the Parliament adopted, in the first reading, amendments to the Audio-visual Code of the Republic of Moldova. The amendments proposed by the Liberal Party and the Democratic Party, members of the ruling coalition, aim to limit broadcasts in foreign languages or those originating from abroad. Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ general secretary, participated to a public debate organised by the chairman of the Parliament…

New media entrepreneurs with diversity inclusiveness spirit wanted

You plan to create your own multimedia platform? You are a journalist committed to the inclusion of diversity in media? In the framework of its mentoring programme Div-A (Diversity Accelerator), the Council of Europe will help and fund ten individuals and/or teams from the Council of Europe countries to develop their ideas. Div-A aims at testing a new approach to rendering the media landscape in Europe more inclusive with regard to cultural diversity and more balanced in relation to diversity issues. An international team of new media experts – including the German Krautreporter, the Hungarian Direkt 36, the Greek Athens Live, the French Sport et Handicaps…

Commissioner Muižnieks calls on Poland to protect the independence of public media

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, issued a statement today, at the end of a four-day visit to Poland. He expressed concerns at the adoption in December 2015 of transitional legislation in the field of public service media, pending the adoption of a wider reform in this area, expected before the summer 2016. “Placing public service media under direct government control by giving the latter the powers to appoint and dismiss the members of the supervisory and management boards of public service television and radio contradicts Council of Europe standards which notably require that public service media…

EFJ letter regarding concern for safety of Croatian journalist Željko Peratovic

UPDATE (06/08/2015) : Three people who allegedly physically attacked Croatian investigative journalist Zeljko Peratovic in May will be investigated for attempted murder. — The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in cooperation with the Croatian Journalists’ Association of Journalists (CJA/ HND) sent several letters to Croatian high level representatives from Parliament, government, police and justice  including Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, President of the Republic of Croatia and Zoran Milanović, Prime minister, in order to to express its great concern for the safety of  freelance journalist Željko Peratović and ask for official intervention for his protection. Željko Peratović, the winner of the CJA Award for…

Children’s cartoons and much more at Council of Europe’s meeting on media

To bring some action to its usually serious – and sometimes dull – documents, the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) of the Council of Europe (CoE) also met this week, in Strasbourg, with the six winners of a Spanish school comics competition on human rights and Internet. It is not sure that the kids would indeed “make sure to be safe online for the rest of their life”, as one of the children told the meeting, but the contribution of young Internet users definitely brought a fresh tone to the meeting. Good news: Online platform working On…