European Federation of Journalists

Hungary: EFJ urges again the EU to condemn limits on freedom of information

In the wake of our discussion on Friday with the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed again today its serious concerns about the sweeping powers granted to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a parliamentary vote approving indefinite rule by decree and jail terms for spreading misinformation. The EFJ fully supports the petition “No Quarantine for Democracy!” developed with MEPs (including Ramona Strugariu, Stelios Kouloglou, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Lara Wolters and Guy Verhofstadt), which is calling on all EU Member States to ensure reinforced protections for journalists, the media…

COVID-19: Council of Europe must ensure press freedom is protected

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the largest organisation of journalists in Europe, representing over 320,000 journalists in 72 journalists’ organisations across 45 countries, today called on Europe’s top human rights and democracy organization to protect free flow of information and ensure that media freedom is guaranteed as states strive to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. EFJ joined with nine other press freedom and journalists groups to write to the heads of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe to express its profound concerns over the dangers of governments taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to punish independent and critical media and introduce…

COVID-19: Europe’s leaders must protect free flow of information

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the major network of journalists’ organisations in Europe, today called on European leaders to protect free flow of information and ensure that media freedom will be guaranteed as states strive to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The EFJ joined together with eight other press freedom bodies and journalists’ organisations to express its profound concerns about the dangers of governments taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to punish independent and critical media and to introduce restrictions on the access of media to government decision making and action. While recognizing that certain emergency measures are needed to…

COVID-19: governments must promote free flow of information

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the joint statement issued today by David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and Edison Lanza, IACHR Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression calling on governments to promote and protect access to and free flow of information during COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the growing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the monitors for freedom of expression and freedom of the media for the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights,…

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party aims to regulate journalists

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party wants to regulate the status of the country’s journalists, and to create a “new media order.” PiS is proposing a new regulatory framework for the conduct of journalism in its 232-page election manifesto,in preparation for the October 13 general election. The ruling party argues that the journalist profession is one which depends on public trust and should, therefore, be regulated in a similar way to that of the medical and legal professions. This would mean establishing a body to oversee ethical and professional standards, education and entry into the profession. The proposed reform…

New publication: Media, Freedom of Speech, and Democracy in the EU

In June 2019, the S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies published the book “Media, Freedom of Speech, and Democracy in the EU and Beyond”. The research paper was edited by Dr. Angelos Giannakopoulos, and gives insights into the media landscape of several European countries. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) contributed to this publication with a chapter titled “Media, Freedom of Speech, and Democracy: Journalists under pressure in Europe”, written by EFJ-Director Renate Schroeder. The book presents the authoritarian media system of Hungary, as well as the role of the state in media ownership in Poland. It…

Ambassador of Canada to the EU: “Journalists are modern heroes”

On 14 June, the UK Representation to the European Union (EU) and the Mission of Canada to the EU hosted the event “Thought is free: Protecting and promoting media freedom”. In two panels, six discussants shared their thoughts on media freedom, fact checking, safety of journalists, the loss of trust in media and the daily struggles of female journalists. The event was organised in the lead of the Global Conference for Media Freedom to take place on 11-11 July in London. In his opening statement, the Ambassador of Canada Dan Costello quoted journalists to be “modern heroes”, listing a worrying…

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