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…

Victory for press freedom in Germany: Global mass surveillance ruled unconstitutional

Today, the German Federal Constitutional Court has declared the monitoring of worldwide Internet traffic by the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to be unconstitutional. The ruling says that the BND is bound by the fundamental rights of the Basic Law when conducting telecommunications surveillance of foreigners in other countries, and it violates the fundamental right to privacy of telecommunications (Art. 10(1) of the Basic Law, Grundgesetz – GG) and the freedom of the press (Art. 5). Back in 2016 the Bundestag  passed a law that allowed the Federal Intelligence Service to spy on foreign journalists. As this destroys the trust between journalists…

EFJ condemns physical attack on ZDF camera crew after filming demonstration in Berlin

A ZDF camera crew were attacked after filming a demonstration against the corona rules for satirical news programme the heute-show (Today Show) on Friday 1 May. The team were on the way back to their vehicles when the incident took place. The EFJ joined its German affiliates the German Association of Journalists (DJV) and the German Union of Journalists (dju in ver.di) in condemning the attack. Five of the seven members required hospital treatment and have since been discharged to recover from home. The police initially arrested six suspects, who were released from custody. Some 15 persons are suspected of…

DJV European Group Meeting

Meeting with MEP Sabine Verheyen – chair of EP CULT Committee. Am 27. Januar 2020 können wir uns in Aachen mit Sabine Verheyen treffen. Die CDU-Politikerin aus Aachen ist in diesem Sommer zur neuen Vorsitzenden des Ausschusses für Kultur und Bildung bei der EU gewählt worden. Dieser Ausschuss des EU-Parlaments ist auch für Medien-, Informations- und Kommunikationspolitik zuständig. Ich hatte Kontakt zu ihr, sie steht uns für ein Gespräch gern zur Verfügung. Der genaue Ort muss noch festgelegt werden. Wir könnten das Treffen mit ihr mit einer Sitzung unserer Kommission verbinden.

EFJ mourns sudden death of devoted union colleague and journalist

Sadness and dismay prevail in the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today after the sudden death of the chair of the EFJ’s Labour Expert Group, Rainer Reichert, in Brussels. “For decades, he has rendered outstanding services to journalism in both Germany and Europe,” said EFJ President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, paying tribute to the deceased. “Rainer was so committed to fighting for better working conditions of journalists throughout Europe. With his legal expertise and knowledge of many languages, he always volunteered to help improve the interests of journalists, be it in the Balkans, in Italy or anywhere in Europe. His death…

Ver.di Congress

The German union ver.di will organise its 5th Ordinary Federal Congress “FOR A FAIR FUTURE” from 22 to 28 September 2019 at the Exhibition Centre in Leipzig. The theme ”FOR A FAIR FUTURE” reflects ver.di’s commitment to shaping the world of work, especially with regards to digital disruption. Other main topics include expanding the scope of collective bargaining, fair distribution, socio-ecological transformation and retirement security. The opening ceremony for the Federal Congress will commence on Sunday, 22 September (6 pm). During the evening of Tuesday, 24 September, ver.di’s board would like to exchange views with International guests about right-wing populism…

Germany: lawyer’s attempts to influence reporting are increasing

German media’s legal departments see an increase of lawyer’s attempts to prevent journalists from reporting. That was found out by the new study “If you write that, I will sue you! Preventive strategies of lawyers against media”, published on 08 August. The research filed by the German Otto Brenner Foundation in cooperation with the “Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte” determined that legal departments receive an average of three preventive warnings per month. The strategy: “press law information letters” Knowing that they don’t have a legal right to prevent a media from publishing an article concerning their clients, lawyers have the common practice…

Germany: WDR-journalist receives death threat after criticizing right-wing party AfD

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its German members “Deutscher Journalisten Verband” (DJV) and “Deutsche Journalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union in ver.di” expressed its solidarity with the German journalist Georg Restle, who became the target of online harassment culminating in death threat received by letter. The journalist had critically commented on the right wing party “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD). Following the letter coming from “the right wing extremist scene”, his employer, the public service broadcaster “Westdeutscher Rundfunk” (WDR) has now filed a criminal complaint. On 11 July, Restle had described the AfD as the “parliamentary arm of a right-wing extremist movement”…