Joint statement on Belarus: EU must reintroduce sanctions related to violations of media freedom

Update (15/8): European Union Foreign Affairs ministers agreed Friday to draw up a list of targets in Belarus for a new round of sanctions in response to strongman Alexander Lukashenko’s post-election crackdown. The sanctions will target those responsible for the violence, arrests and fraud in connection with the election. Once the list is finalized, each individual or entity on it will have to be approved unanimously by the EU member states. ——————- We call on Belarusian authorities to stop attacking, detaining and demonising journalists and media workers and work towards meaningful protections for media freedom. Following the disputed Presidential elections in…

Temporary refuge for European journalists at risk

The ECPMF’s Journalists-in-Residence programme is designed to host journalists from across geographical Europe who face harrassment and intimidation in their home country. It provides a temporary refuge, a safe place to rest and to continue ones work and — if so desired by those being hosted — a platform to highlight threats to media freedom back home. The ECPMF has just released a new call for applications for journalists based in the EU28 and candidate countries. Key info at a glance: Eligible to apply are journalists living in an EU28 or candidate country Two timeslots to choose from: February to…

#ECPMF conference e-book: how to improve freedom of expression

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) issued an e-book with proceedings and conclusions of their recent conference, organised on 24 March in Strasbourg. Carried out with the support of the Council of the Europe (CoE), the event promoted the dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and media freedom groups, especially on the ECtHR’s recent case law relating to freedom of expression, media and journalism. The speakers at the conference presented their views on three main themes, now summed up in the e-book: defamation, privacy and the processing of personal data; investigative journalism in relation…

ECPMF conference on fake news: investment in quality journalism and media literacy needed

How to fight fake news? Do facts still matter? The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) took part in this burning issue with the conference “Defending the truth in a post-truth era” taking place on June 13 and 14 in Leipzig, Germany. Many case studies were showcased by different NGOs and stakeholders highlighting the need to invest in media literacy, fact-checking trainings and collaborative journalism. LieDetectors is one of the project presented by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, aiming to bring journalists into classrooms in order to give them an overview of what a fake news is and to help children…

Macedonia: two journalists injured during storming of the Parliament

During a press conference today in Skopje (Macedonia), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) and Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) called on the Macedonian authorities to investigate the attacks against 10 journalists and media workers, during last night’s storming of the Macedonian parliament building by nationalist demonstrators. At least two journalists were injured in the attack, according to reports from the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM). Dimitar Tanurov, a reporter for the independent online news agency Meta, was taking pictures inside the parliament. He…

Macedonia: It is high time to stop violence against journalists!

Following ECPMF-EFJ-SEEMO-OBCT fact-finding mission to Macedonia, on 25th-28th April 2017, the four organisations issued this statement today, regarding rising violence against journalists in Macedonia: We hereby express our deep concerns about the yesterday‘s violent attacks against journalists in the parliament of the Republic of Macedonia. From the beginning of 2016 until yesterday at least 21 attacks against journalists in Macedonia have been registered by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM), out of a total of several dozens within the last years. All this clearly demonstrates a rising trend in violence against journalists. The state of media freedom in the…

Freelance journalist facing alone lawsuits after publication of articles on Italian businessman

Petra Reski, female journalist and author of several books, recently published as freelancer for Freitag magazine some articles on the relations of an Italian businessman operating in Germany. The businessman accused of being member of the Italian maffia launched lawsuits against the journalist who did not received support from Freitag magazine based on the argument that “redaction are not legal protection insurance against inadequate research work”. The freelancer felt let down by “Freitag” magazine. The German union Verdi couldn’t support her financially for technical reasons as to receive legal support from the union, a journalist is asked to contact the…

Refugees cover-up and impact on media freedom

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) organised on 9 June a debate about The truth about refugees – crisis, cover-up and the impact on media freedom at the Press Club in Brussels. The refugee issue is currently putting media under pressure. On the one hand, biased reporting – both for and against refugees – has led to increase distrust in the media. Jane Whyatt, Project Manager of the ECPMF, introduced the debate with examples from Eastern Germany, where right-wing populist movements and left-wing extremists movements accuse the mainstream media of lying and biased reporting. “We are trying…

#newsocracy: Safeguarding journalism & exploring owner influence.

(Dublin, 3rd June, 2016) The conference discussed the current state of journalism in Ireland and Europe and was hosted by MEP Nessa Childers from Ireland. Renate Schroeder outlined the threats on the independent status of journalists in Europe expressing great concern about the precarisation in the media as well the increasing attacks from both political and economic forces. Losing trust in journalism with journalists who no longer have time to check information or self-censor because of fear to lose the work or be attacked is the main challenge today, she told  about 100 participants in Dublin. NUJ Ireland General Secretary…

Legalislative framework for investigative journalism need improvements

The Institute of European Media Law (EMR), consortium partner of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), has recently conducted a study on the state of media freedom and investigative journalism in Europe. The results published on 17 May 2016 show that restrictive rules for the development of press freedom remain a major obstacle in all countries. 1. Decriminalisation of journalism = Hungarian model Journalists might infringe the law while trying to obtain information. According to the report, all legal frameworks know limits to the freedom of obtaining information. Even though in many states courts take into consideration the importance of press freedom…