Germany: Freelancers in urgent need of long-awaited financial support

The German Journalists Association (DJV) has conducted a survey on the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Freelance journalists in Germany. About one year after the beginning of the crisis, the results show that many freelance journalists face an increasingly precarious situationl due to insufficient support. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its German affiliates in drawing attention to this particularly vulnerable group of journalists and in calling for improved financial mechanisms to address this issue. Between 29 January and 19 February 2021, 1,090 freelance journalists participated in the study. It found that the average annual income of freelancers…

Germany: Expert report recommends class action lawsuits for copyright infringements of freelancers

The German Association of Journalists (DJV) and ver.di recently published an assessment report authored by law professor Caroline Meller-Hannich on possible instruments of collective legal protection in copyright law. The report concludes that, when implementing the EU directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market, German legislators should not renounce the instrument of a class action law suit or collective litigation.  A class action lawsuit of trade unions or associations is an important aspect of the copyright directive, and is particularly critical for the protection of freelance journalists. Authors regularly have difficulties in enforcing their legal claims to appropriate remuneration.…

EFJ welcomes EU Media Action Plan and urges to include support for freelancers

On 3 December, the European Commission adopted the communication Europe’s Media in the Digital Decade: An Action Plan to Support Recovery and Transformation. The Action Plan focuses on three areas of activity in the media and audiovisual sector and 10 concrete actions, to help the media sector recover from the crisis by facilitating and broadening access to financial support, by encouraging investments for the  digital transformation all on the basis that the media and news sector are not only economical but public goods central for Europe’s democracies “We are committed to help the media sector weather the current storm and challenges brought…

France: Better access to maternity and paternity leave for freelance journalists

Freelance journalists in France (called ‘Pigistes’ in French) will have better access to maternity and paternity leave, sick leave and disability allowance. The national health insurance office (CNAM) gave its green light on 7 October for more freelance journalists to benefit from social security daily allowances. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in France (SNJ, SNJ-CGT, CFDT-Journalistes) in welcoming this new step towards more fairness between journalists and the different types of remuneration. Until now, ‘pigistes’ had to prove that they had earned at least 20,600€ (gross) in the last 12 months in order to be eligible…

Germany: Unions urge government to support small media and freelancers in funding scheme for media

The German Association of Journalists (DJV) has called on the Federal Ministry of Economics to link the agreed press funding to certain conditions in order to countervail media concentration and preference of large media groups. In July, the German parliament decided to provide publishers with a funding of €220 million over several years, most probably starting in 2021. This support is primarily aimed at the digital transformation of the publishing industry. However, previously agreed support specifically for the delivery of daily newspapers will not be made available. This is in the context where publishers complain that the delivery of printed press…

Takeaways from the Online Freelance Seminar on 22 October

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, freelance journalists across Europe have been greatly impacted with reduced paid work and often isolation. For the “Online Freelance Seminar: Equal Treatment for All”, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) gathered over 30 journalists’ representatives, freelance journalists and their organisers, EU policy-makers and experts to discuss such impacts on their working conditions and explore ways to support them. The seminar kicked off with a panel led by Oddrun Midtbø (Norwegian Union of Journalists, NJ) with Renske Heddema, (Dutch Journalists’ Association, NVJ), Charlotte Michils (Flemish Association of Journalists, VVJ) and Pablo Aiquel (French National…

Online Freelance Seminar: Equal Treatment for All

Agenda   22 October 2020   9:00 – 9:30: Introduction & welcoming Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director Pablo Aiquel, co-chair of EFJ Freelance Expert Group Short introduction of all participants 9:30 – 10:30 Impact of Covid-19 on freelancers This panel will discuss the economic and psychological impact on freelance journalists. What actions have been taken by journalists’ unions to support them? Renske Heddema, President, Journalists’ Association of Netherlands (NVJ) Charlotte Michils, Deputy General Secretary, Professional Journalists’ Association of Belgium, Flemish-speaking (VVJ) Pablo Aiquel, Co-chair of EFJ Freelance Expert Group, (SNJ-CGT) Chair: Oddrun Midtbo, Co-chair of EFJ…

Freelance Journalism Assembly launched to offer free online training and more

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the “Freelance Journalism Assembly”, a free of charge programme to train and connect freelance journalists in Europe. The ambitious programme is organised by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The original conference was planned in Berlin, which is why several German organisations have partnered including both EFJ affiliates the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and the Deutsche Journalistinnen- and the Journalisten-Union (DJU). The programme consists of four tracks, each one covering one topic essential to freelance journalists: personal branding, personal finances, well-being, and pitching and negotiation. Each track includes activities…

Covid-19: Freelance packages negotiated in UK

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has congratulated the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK & Ireland, for contributing to the successful negotiation of the financial packages for freelances affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. On 26 March, the British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, annouced that the government will pay self-employed people who are adversely affected by the coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years. The maximum per month will be  £2,500. The scheme will be open to anyone with an income up to £50,000, but only those who…