European Federation of Journalists

#Disinformation: EFJ calls on EU for rapid support for journalism

“Journalists are in the frontline in the fight against disinformation,” said yesterday Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency in the European Commission. “We are calling on Member States to ensure that they can work safely, in the right conditions, and to make the most of the EU recovery package to support media while respecting their independence.” Yesterday’s Commission communication on fight against COVID-19 disinformation includes a chapter on ensuring freedom of expression with strong messages on the importance of journalists, free and independent media, access to information, transparency and accountability. “The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the crucial role of…

ARTICLE19 briefing: How to tackle misinformation about COVID-19

Professional journalism, ethical journalism, independent media, transparency from those in power, media literacy and the free flow of information are the best antidote to misinformation and conspiracy theories about the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. In that particular context, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the policy brief recently issued by ARTICLE19. “More than ever we need professional journalists in the field. Citizens are counting on them to report on the real impact of the pandemic, to disseminate protective measures and to hold decision-makers accountable. The EFJ asks media owners to refrain from any initiative to reduce wages,…

Digital News Report 2019: Every second citizen doesn’t trust the news media he/she uses

Only 49% of the sample in the Digital News Report 2019 trust the news media they use, reveals the most recent Digital News Report published on 12 June by the Reuters Institute in cooperation with the University of Oxford. Based on data from 75,000 online news consumers in 38 countries on six continents, the 2019 report focuses on trust in media and disinformation, models of payment, the impact of populism and the shift to private messaging apps. Trust in media is still diminishing The average level of trust in the news in general has fallen again 2 percentage points to…

Russia: EFJ and IFJ voice concerns over new law on fake news and respect for State

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IJF) today expressed serious concerns over the new Russian law on “fake” news and the “lack of respect for the state, the authorities, and society”, warning it is likely to have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the country. The EFJ and IFJ urge the Russian authorities to review the legislation which came into force on 18 March and to give greater consideration to representation of the Union of Journalists of Russia (RUJ), an EFJ-IFJ affiliate. Under this law, the “flagrant” disrespect for the state, public authorities, official symbols and society…

New report sets guidelines for EU effort to tackle disinformation

Access Now, Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) and European Digital Rights (EDRi) just issued a joint report evaluating the work done by the EU institutions to tackle online disinformation. They found out a lack of evidence-based solution to address the problem and therefore  established a series of recommendations to be followed prior and after the adoption of the forthcoming EU Action Plan on the topic. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports these organisations in asking the EU and Member States to refrain from undue interference and censorship while addressing the issue of disinformation. “We urge the European Commission…

EFJ rejects the Platforms’ so-called “Code of Practice” on disinformation

Members of the Sounding Board of the EU Multistakeholder Forum [1] on Disinformation Online – which includes the EFJ – have delivered their final opinion on the new so-called ‘Code of Practice’ drafted by the online platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla and several advertisement organisations). The Sounding Board, comprised of representatives of the media, civil society, journalists, consumer organizations, fact-checkers and academia, thanked the Commission and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel for convening the Forum and for the opportunity to comment on the so-called ‘Code of Practice’ drawn up by the online platforms. As demonstrated in the Sounding Board’s detailed and written…

European Commission’s plan to tackle online disinformation

The European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, presented today (26/04/2018) the Communication on “tackling online disinformation”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the commitment of the European Union to call on member states for significant financial support for independent news media, fact- and source-checking, and media and information literacy. The European Federation of Journalistes strongly believes that quality journalism and a sustainable media ecosystem are the best antidotes to disinformation. The European Commission recognises the key role played by online platforms in the spread and amplification of online disinformation, deeply affecting journalists and media outlets. It…

EU conference on digital sector: policymakers and citizens join forces to shape digital future

A High Level Conference “Shaping our digital future” brought together around 600 participants including MEPs, ministers and citizens to discuss challenges and opportunities of the digital sector on 25 April in Brussels. The event was jointly organised by the European Parliament and the European Commission in the light of the rapidly changing digital landscape to enter into a dialogue with policy makers and citizens about Europe’s digital future. Four panels discussed the following topics: Investing in connectivity and the data economy infrastructure (5G, High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence) and avoiding a digital divide Innovation in the digital age based on…

The best antidote to disinformation is a sustainable media ecosystem

Together with 38 experts, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) participated in a EU High-level Expert Group (HLEG) set up by the European Commission, since January 2018, in order to tackle the phenomenon of so-called “fake news” and disinformation. The final report of this group has been published today in Brussels by the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. The EFJ welcomes the final report despite some doubts on some specific proposals. The report clearly indicates that the real threat is disinformation, not “fake news”. Disinformation is defined as “false, inaccurate, or misleading information designed, presented and promoted to intentionally…

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