European Federation of Journalists

Hungary: journalists at Index resign, EU must take action

Thousands of people took to the streets in Budapest on Friday evening to demonstrate against the attacks on Hungary’s biggest independent news portal “Index”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes this protest march and calls on European leaders to protect media freedom in Hungary. The editorial board and more than 70 journalists at “Index” have resigned, two days after its editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull was fired amid claims of political interference. On Friday, three leading editors and more than 70 others said they were ending their employment there, because board president Laszlo Bodolai had refused to reinstate the chief editor. The…

MPM2020: poor working conditions for journalists in 13 European countries

The 2020 Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM2020) confirms mounting harassment against journalists, media outlets face increasing economic uncertainty, as online media sphere fails to reinforce pluralism. The report points out a deteriorating situation regarding the standards and protection of the journalistic profession. Croatia, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Hungary, Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Albania, Italy, Slovenia, Malta, Ireland and France score as being at medium risk and Turkey as high risk for this indicator. The sub-indicator on journalists’ working conditions scores an alarming high risk in 13 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The European University Institute (EUI)…

Media Pluralism has become a priority for the European Commission

Together with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes that the distribution of European Commission portfolios is a hopeful sign that the European Union can deliver social progress over the next five years. The EFJ particularly welcomes the fact that media pluralism is mentioned as one of the EU Commission’s priorities. European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented on Tuesday the proposed new team of Commissioners, including some hopeful developments. As the ETUC has stated, Commissioners Nicolas Schmidt (Luxembourg) and Paolo Gentiloni (Italy), proposed for the jobs and economy portfolios, were both strong…

Croatian journalists stage protest against abusive lawsuits

Several hundred journalists rallied in Zagreb on Saturday to protest against a wave of lawsuits targeting the media. According to the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND), an EFJ affiliate, which organized the march, politicians, public figures and corporations had filed over 1,100 lawsuits against journalists and news outlets. HND says these court cases are part of an attempt to censor the media and put pressure on journalists. The protest was called after Croatian public broadcaster HRT itself filed 36 lawsuits against its own journalists and others, including HND head Hrvoje Zovko and HND branch in Public Service Media, who complained of…

Italy: increasing attacks against status of journalists

On 27 November, Italian MEP Isabella De Monte (S&D) organised the event “The challenges of European Journalism”, taking as an example the recent problems of Italian journalism, such as politicians’ attempts to undermine public media credibility and the difficult economic situation of Italian journalists and media, to discuss about the more widespread attacks to free press throughout Europe. An issue that has to be addressed right now before the European elections with disinformation on the rise said De Monte. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented by its director Renate Schroeder, participating together with Raffaele Lorusso, general secretary of the affiliate Federazione Nazionale della Stampa…

Hungary: new pro-government media conglomerate threatens pluralism

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) join their affiliates in Hungary, HPU and MUOSZ, in calling on Hungarian authorities to obstruct the formation of a huge media conglomerate that questions media pluralism. The owners of a majority of Hungary’s pro-government media outlets said Wednesday they are donating their companies to a foundation, the “Central European Press and Media Foundation”. This new right-wing media conglomerate will include cable news channels, online news portals, tabloid and sports newspapers and all of Hungary’s county newspapers, several radio stations and numerous magazines. Among the media companies to be under its control are Echo Penisola Ltd.…

Risks for media pluralism and safety of journalists are increasing across Europe

The Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) has examined 28 European Union Member States as well as three candidate countries: Turkey, Serbia and Macedonia. The results of this second EU-wide implementation of the MPM show either general stagnation or deterioration in all of the major areas encompassed by the MPM and confirm that no country analysed is free from risks to media pluralism. The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), based in Florence, has just published its 2017 Media Pluralism Monitor reports (#MPM2017). Year 2017 was marked by events that have had a significant impact on media freedom and media…

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