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”…

DJV campaign “Photographers do have names”: big german newspapers fail to quote

When it comes to crediting photojournalists below their pictures, big german newspapers perform worse than smaller ones. That’s the result of the 2019 ranking by the EFJ German affiliate, Deutscher Journalisten Verband (DJV). The ranking is part of a campaign called “Photographers do have names” with the main goal to raise awareness about photojournalists who are often deprived of their right. DJV investigated 87 nationwide selected newspapers in a random sample and found out that smaller newsrooms performed far better in quoting photographers than bigger ones. This year, the three Bavarian Newspapers Fränkische Landeszeitung, Main Post and Nürnberger Nachrichten were…

Germany: draft legislation endangers newsroom privacy

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) shares the outrage of its German affiliates Deutscher Journalisten Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Jounalisten Union (DJU) in ver.di about a new draft law by the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) which  would remove protections prohibiting the country’s domestic and foreign intelligence services from hacking journalists’ devices during terrorism investigations. Under the current German law, journalists – along with priests, lawyers, doctors, and Members of Parliament – are granted special protection to limit their surveillance by intelligence agencies. According to the German newspaper Die Zeit, the new legislation would remove some of the protections…

EFJ condemns attacks against journalists in Germany

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliates in Germany, the dju in ver.di and the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) in condemning attacks against several media houses including die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Frankfurter Rundschau, the ARD Hauptstadt Büro by groups of the Identitäre Bewegung (IB, Identitarian Movement) this morning. A journalist was physically attacked in front of the media building of the TAZ in Berlin while trying to prevent a group of men and women of the Identitäre Bewegung (IB) to attach posters against left wing violence at the wall of the media house. The Identical movement (IB) is a extreme…

Appeal to German police: Stop violence against journalists

“What happened in Chemnitz this weekend including violent acts against media workers concerns us all,” said EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregard. “It is ever more urgent in Germany and elsewhere in Europe that democratic institutions and the police protect journalists against right-wing extremists. We pledge for intense training for the police and dialogue between journalists and police to better understand each-others’ role.” Almost 10,000 people are estimated to have taken part in protests in Chemnitz on Saturday 1 September – led by members of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, the anti-Islam Pegida movement and a large group of Hooligans– as…

Journalists detained in Dresden after complaint by far-right protester

Members of a TV crew working for German public broadcaster ZDF´s investigative political magazine programme Frontal21 were detained by police during 45 minutes, on 16 August, after a complaint by a participant at a Pegida (far-right) demonstration in Dresden. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its German affiliates, DJV and dju in ver.di, in condemning the Saxon police action. Footage shot by the camera team, which included broadcast journalists Ulrich Stoll and Arndt Ginzel, shows a procession of demonstrators including one man shouting “Lügenpresse!” (“lying press”) while looking and pointing at the camera team. The footage also shows the…

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