European Federation of Journalists

Pivotal moment for Italy to abolish prison sentences for criminal defamation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in call for reform ahead of court hearing On Tuesday, 9 June 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court will hold a public hearing into the legitimacy of laws that allow for jail sentences for journalists convicted of defamation. It comes after the Italian State Attorney submitted a memorandum to the Court on 31 March 2020 on behalf of the government, signalling its plans to retain tough legal provisions for journalists found guilty of publishing defamatory material in the press. The Ordine dei Giornalisti (National Council of the Order…

Threats against journalists in Northern Ireland must stop

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), as a partner of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), joined press freedom and freedom of expression organisations, journalists’ organisations, journalists and media workers to condemn threats against journalists in Northern Ireland. We, the undersigned, condemn the threats made by the South East Antrim Ulster Defence Association (UDA) against journalists at the Sunday Life and Sunday World in Northern Ireland. Early in the morning of 8 May, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) visited the homes of a number of journalists to warn them about credible threats, including threats of physical violence against their colleagues…

Media Freedom Rapid Response partners call for protection of all journalists and media workers when covering demonstrations and protests across Europe

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are concerned about the increased violence against media professionals at protests and demonstrations across EU Member States and Candidate Countries in the last months and call for increased protection. The recent violent attacks against media workers during demonstrations in Germany, three assaults in a few days, and similar threats witnessed across Europe, are establishing a worrying trend. The right to free assembly and association is a vital underpinning of a modern and pluralist democracy and has itself come under significant threat across Europe. However, threats against the press and media further weakens their ability…

ECPMF’s Journalists-in-Residence (JiR) programme offers support for journalists under threat

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) has opened the 2020 call for its Journalists-in-Residence (JiR) programme for a period of up to six months, between June 2020 and February 2021. The programme is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), which works to provide swift and efficient support to journalists under threat. The JiR programme is unique as it provides a safe haven for media professionals from the European Union Member States and Candidate Countries who are at risk and need to take a break away from a hostile working environment. Journalists and other media professionals are given temporary shelter,…

Virtual talk: No lockdown for press freedom – misuse of the Corona crisis to silence journalism in Europe

The Covid–19 pandemic has brought the world to a lockdown and revealed just how important independent media and the free flow of information are at times like these. The crisis has unveiled the many factors that can converge to repress media freedom. A freedom that is already under fire from different directions, private and public alike. On the occasion of the 2020 World Press Freedom Day, the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) invite you to a virtual discussion on how to counter the abusive strategies used by governments to limit press freedom in the current Coronavirus pandemic. When: Monday 4 May at 18:30-20:00…

Newly launched Media Freedom Rapid Response briefs European Commission

Media freedom organisations have united under the umbrella of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and made their first contribution to the urgent debate on Corona-virus. It is urgent because there is a state of emergency to safeguard public health. But some governments are abusing this situation in order to stifle critical questions and pursue their own political agendas. At a top-level online meeting the newly launched MFRR presented its findings on this critical issue to Věra Jourová, who is the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency. The briefing of the Media Freedom Rapid Response In…

Rapid Response Mechanism launched to defend press and media freedom in Europe

March 1st marks a new chapter in the support for journalists under threat – it is the start of the Europe-wide rapid response mechanism (RRM) for violations of press and media freedom. The RRM is conducted by a consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom in Leipzig (ECPMF). The Mechanism is designed to mitigate the consequences of the recently observed deterioration of press and media freedom in certain EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The consortium consists of the ECPMF, ARTICLE 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the Institute for Applied…