France: Blast journalist detained for 32 hours for refusing to disclose confidential sources 

On 18 June 2024, a journalist working for the French independent news portal Blast was arbitrarily arrested by the police and detained for refusing to hand over her sources. She was released after thirty-two hours of detention. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its French affiliates the SNJ and SNJ-CGT in denouncing this blatant violation of the confidentiality of journalistic sources and arbitrary detention.  On 18 June 2024, protestors gathered outside of the headquarters of the company Exxelia, which is at the heart of a judicial investigation by the Paris court for complicity in war crimes, following a complaint…

Call for withdrawal of Slovakia’s repressive broadcast law

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined journalists and media freedom groups in calling for the urgent withdrawal of a proposed legislation allowing political control over public-service media in Slovakia. The bill threatens independent information, especially before the June European Parliament elections, contradicting the recently voted EU’s Media Freedom Act. On 11 March, the Slovak government announced a plan to dissolve Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) and replace it with the new Slovak Television and Radio (STaR). The Ministry of Culture’s draft law includes drastic changes to the appointment and competence of oversight bodies, which would set up a government control and effectively end…

Georgia: MFRR partners denounce smear campaign against journalist by speaker of the Parliament

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined today the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing concern at the discrediting of a prominent Georgian journalist by Shalva Papuashvili, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament. The comments come amid a broader wave of smear campaigns against independent media in Georgia by Papuashvili and others. On 20 February 2024, Georgian media reported that Papuashvili had publicly discredited Gela Mtivlishvili, the editor of online news site Mtis Ambebi, by questioning his credentials as a journalist in the course of an interview. In remarks to journalists, Papuashvili mentioned an investigation by Mtivlishvili into…

IWD: Safeguarding women journalists in the digital age

On International Women’s Day, MFRR coalition partners publish a critical examination of attacks against women journalists in the European Union and candidate countries To mark International Women’s Day, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) presents an analysis of the troubling attacks against women journalists, in European Union member states and candidate countries. In 2023, female journalists faced a disproportionate number of verbal attacks, especially online. The MFRR partners call for collaborative efforts to protect their rights and foster a society free from discrimination. On International Women’s Day, the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) emphasise the need to…

Albania: Smear campaign against investigative journalist Ola Xama must stop

The smear campaign against Albanian investigative journalist Ola Xama, who works for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), intensified again earlier this month. The news platforms Prapaskena.com and DITA published articles that unleashed a worrisome level of violence with personal attacks, attacks on her family, “slut-shaming” and divulgation of Ola Xama’ private address. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) stands in solidarity with Ola Xama and joins the Safe Journalists Network (SJN) in calling on the media outlets to stop their damaging attacks which have been going on since July 2023. On 13 July 2023, BIRN document-based investigation revealed that…

Italy: MFRR partners strongly condemn investigation into Domani journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in strongly condemning the investigation of three Domani journalists for allegedly receiving confidential documents from a public official and for alleged breaching of secrets through the publication of information contained in those documents. The charges are connected to their reporting on a conflict of interest involving the current Minister of Defence, Guido Crosetto. The journalists face up to 5 years in prison under Italian criminal law. Our organisations call for the investigation to be dropped immediately. No journalist investigating matters of public interest, or their sources,…

Physical confrontation with journalist in Serbia is unacceptable and must be sanctioned

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the SafeJournalists Network and the Media Freedom Rapid Response partners in strongly condemning the behaviour of the local authorities in Indjija, Serbia, who forcibly removed the journalist Verica Marincic from the municipality building and prevented her from doing her job. We appeal to the competent authorities to investigate this incident in which the journalist was injured. The journalist of the In media portal from Indjija, Verica Marincic, was kicked out of the Indjija municipality building because she “wasn’t on the list” to monitor the conference regarding the residents’ protest against the abolition of…

We demand release of journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu in upcoming trial

As the next hearing of Turkish journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu approaches on February 29, 2024, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined International media freedom and human rights organisations in calling for immediate attention to her case and her unjust detention. Müftüoğlu, Co-Chair of the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFGD), has been wrongfully held for over nine months on unsubstantiated terrorism charges in a case that starkly violates international legal standards and media freedom. Case Overview: A Miscarriage of Justice Müftüoğlu’s arrest occurred during a broader crackdown on Kurdish activists and politicians by the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office in April 2023. The…

2 years on, Ukrainian journalists still pay a heavy price for the war

February 24 marks two years since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Today, the organizations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) reaffirm our solidarity with Ukrainian journalists and call for guarantees of their safety and full freedom to report, as well as a renewed effort to provide the necessary financial and technical support for them to continue their work. Over the past two years, Ukraine’s journalists have demonstrated incredible courage and resilience in covering the horrors of this war for their communities and the outside world, often at great personal sacrifice. We call for continued international support…

Germany: Farmers’ blockade of media disrupted newspaper deliveries

Germany is facing a major nationwide media blockade, led mainly by farmers who have demonstrated fervently against the government’s proposed subsidy cuts. Criticising the poor representation of their claims in the media, farmers have blocked access to media premises to interrupt newspaper deliveries during protests lasting hours. Since the beginning of February, farmers have targeted at least three media companies and two publishing houses across the country. The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ) call for calm discussions between farmers and the media, and regret that disruption of newspaper deliveries is being used as a means of protest. “Attacks on the press…

Slovakia: Lack of justice for Kuciak and Kušnírová’s assassination exacerbated by growing attacks on press freedom

On the sixth anniversary of the brutal killing of investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned organisations in renewing our call for long-awaited justice for their killings and the imperative to break the cycle of impunity. As we remember Ján and Martina, we are alarmed by increasing threats to the rule of law and media freedom in Slovakia, in particular relating to the lack of accountability for crimes, the diminished protection of public watchdogs and the stark erosion of democratic institutions. The undersigned international organisations call on the Slovak…

Serbia: Court of Appeals acquits suspects of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija’s murder

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined the Safe Journalists Network (SJN) and other partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in deploring the Belgrade Court of Appeals’s decision to acquit the four suspects for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. On Friday 2 February 2024, the Belgrade Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Special Department for Organized Crime of the High Court in Belgrade, and acquitted the four suspects for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. This disappointing development constitutes a grave backslide to the fight against impunity and further undermines journalists’ safety. This final…

Webinar: Assessing the state of press freedom in Greece

30 January 2024 11:00 CET Register here   On 30 January, international media freedom groups will hold a webinar and press conference to mark the publication of a major report assessing the landscape for press freedom and independent journalism in Greece, following a mission to Athens in September 2023. The report examines the clear period of deterioration in media freedom in the EU Member State over the last few years, identifies the reasons behind this deterioration, and sets out recommendations for steps to be taken to address these many challenges. It also provides a detailed analysis of the measures taken…

Webinar: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Media Freedom in Survival Mode

25 January 2024 10:00 CET Register here On 15 December 2022, the European Council granted Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status for EU membership. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 accelerated the EU enlargement process, Bosnia and Herzegovina has yet to improve its environment for the media to continue on its path towards potential EU accession, as limited progress has been made since submitting its application in 2016. In this MFRR webinar, speakers will discuss the findings of a recent press freedom fact-finding mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighting the suffocating environment for independent journalists in the country and…

Romania: Media freedom mission ahead of super electoral year

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will join a mission to Romania with the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR). The mission aims to take the pulse of the current state of press freedom and independent journalism as the country gears up for a super electoral year in 2024. The mission will consist of two parts: an initial online fact-finding element involving meetings with media, journalists and civil society stakeholders, followed by an in-person visit to Bucharest later in the year to meet with political leaders and state authorities. The initial element of the mission will take place over the week…

MFRR highlights threats to media freedom in EU Commission’s Rule of Law report

Updates on some of the biggest developments and threats to media freedom and pluralism across European Union Member States throughout 2023 were submitted to the EU Commission’s annual Rule of Law Report by partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR). On 15 January 2024, MFRR consortium partners Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI) and the Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) filed detailed submissions to the report on the topic of media freedom and pluralism in Hungary, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and the Czech Republic. The joint and individual submissions provide information of major developments in the media…

Croatia: Dora Kršul and Telegram.hr accused by the Minister of Culture and Media of publishing “malicious fake news”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expresses its anger at the unacceptable comments made towards awarded journalist Dora Kršul and the media outlet Telegram.hr by the Minister of Culture and Media of Croatia. We demand an immediate apologies and a retraction. “Malicious fake news”: those were the words used by Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek in interviews, to talk about articles published by Telegram.hr and written by Dora Kršul. Discredit, an overused technique, is particularly worrying for the state of press freedom in a country when it comes from the Minister responsible for the media. The journalist, on 15 January, published a follow-up…