European Federation of Journalists

Czech Republic: media freedom under pressure

A new report by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Syndicate of Journalists of Czech Republic, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Nordic Association of News Publishers and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)  reveals the state of media in the Czech Republic. A fact-finding delegation met with 14 key informants including journalists, editors, directors, teachers, politicians and founders from various part of the Czech media landscape, both public service media and private media. During the mission, it was noticed that the prime minister’s close link to the media he used to own is totally unacceptable for…

Meeting of the Advisory Board of “The illiberal Turn” Project

Dr Vaclav Stetka (PI) and Professor Sabina Mihelj (Co-I) have been awarded an ESRC standard research grant for a project titled “The Illiberal Turn? News Consumption, Political Polarisation and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe” (£817,000). The project will carry out a comparative analysis of the relationship between news consumption and political attitudes in four CEE countries – Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Serbia, at a key point in time when the region is witnessing the rise of populist leaders, resurgence of illiberal nationalism, and a shift towards authoritarian forms of government. Scheduled to run from May 2019 until November 2021,…

Newsocracy: Transparency in media ownership in focus

The damaging effects of media ownership concentration in Europe was the topic of the Newsocracy conference held in Prague, Czech Republic, on 14 December, organised by the European Centre of Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF). The conference highlighted the importance to develop both transparency and pluralism in media ownership to guarantee media as a public good. “The conference turned out to be a wake up call. Experts showed how the lack of transparency in ownership influences media policy in many European countries – in the EU in general, in Central and Eastern Europe in particular”, said European Federation of Journalists’ (EFJ)…

Newsocracy: Media ownership concentration in Czech Republic and Europe

Media ownership concentration is affecting more and more European countries, and therefore every European media consumer. Assess with us if and to what extent economical agendas and conflicts of interest undermine the independence of the information we consume every day. The ECPMF’s NEWSOCRACY event in Prague focusses on new types and shapes of media ownership and on the implications media ownership concentration has on local and regional journalism. Through hands-on knowledge exchange and expert sessions we aim to come up with constructive approaches to promote and strengthen media plurality. The President of the EFJ Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will moderate session…

EP Public hearing – Role of Independent Public Service Media for Democracy in Europe

Independence of Public Service Media (PSM) in Europe is under increased pressure in a number of the EU Member States. Destabilization of this democratic institution in the context of the overall challenges in Europe and weakening of other democratic institutions, such as political parties represents a real threat to the democracy in Europe. The PSM in Hungary is under the full control of Orban. In 2016 a political cleansing took place in the public service broadcaster in Poland followed by a political purge in the Croatian broadcaster. Recently the Czech Television is under pressure for rejection of their annual report,…

Czech President Milos Zeman verbally attacks journalists during inauguration speech

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the verbal attacks on journalists delivered by Czech President Milos Zeman during his inauguration speech on 8 March 2018 in Prague. Mr. Zeman accused the Czech public broadcaster of granting too much coverage to the TOP 09 conservative political party. He further went on to allege a general manipulation by liberal news outlets. Karolina Blinkova, a spokeswoman of Czech Television (CT) dismissed his accusations of biased news coverage in favour of the TOP 09 political party as attacks on the independence of the media: “We absolutely reject any attacks on journalists and independence of…

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