Northern Ireland: journalist Lyra McKee shot dead while covering riots

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead while she was covering the riots at the Creggan housing estate in the city of Londonderry (Derry), Northern Ireland, on Thursday night 19 April. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their affiliate the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland in condemning this killing and call on a full investigation into her death. A former Belfast Telegraph journalist and a NUJ member, Lyra McKee, 29, was a freelancer and a novelist. The riots took place in the run-up to the Easter weekend, which…

In the UK and France, freelance journalists stand up for their rights to fairer, better and faster pay

Both in France and the UK, freelance media workers have joined forces to tackle the unlawful working practices of media owners. They demand the end of payment on publication, to be paid for all their work, not just on the basis of what has been published, only after it has been published. They also expect to receive payments promptly, instead of enduring huge delays and being left out of pocket. Media workers are under pressure from employers who are cutting editorial budgets, slashing jobs and undermining trade union organisations. Many journalists have been forced into what we call “fake freelance”…

Northern Ireland: two investigative journalists arrested for theft of confidential documents

Investigative journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were arrested on the morning of 31 August after police search was held in their houses and offices. The journalists were accused of theft of confidential documents related to the Loughinisland massacre. The laptops and possessed information were confiscated. Both journalists were released from custody on bail on the same night. Trevor Britney and Barry McCaffrey were involved in a documentary “No Stone Unturned”, which investigates the massacre of six people on 18 June 1994, when a loyalist gunmen opened fire on the customers in a bar in Loughinisland, Co Down. After shift…

BBC and The Guardian taken to court over Paradise Papers

Following the release of Paradise Papers, offshore company Appleby has taken legal action against two British news organisations, the BBC and The Guardian. The BBC and The Guardian are two out of 94 news organisations that reported on the controversial Paradise Papers, a leak of financial documents that showed how hundreds of politicians, multinationals, celebrities and individuals with a high net worth use complex structures to avoid paying higher taxes. Appleby has since initiated breach of confidentiality proceedings against the two British news organisations. The law firm is seeking damages for the disclosure of what it says are confidential legal…

Ireland: Unions celebrate victory over competition authority

Irish freelance workers will be allowed the right to collective bargaining. On the evening of 31 May, the Irish Parliament adopted the Labour Party proposed Competition Amendment Bill 2016, which aims to introduce exemptions from competition law for certain self-employed workers. Since a competition ruling was handed down thirteen years ago, agreements  negotiated with  artists unions on minimum tariffs  have been considered as breaches of competition  law. To avoid the competition law a union has to prove either that its members are false independent workers (in a subordinate relationship, obliged to follow instructions,  do not share the same business risks…

UK : Stop the Murdoch media takeover

The European and International Federations of Journalists are calling for action to stop the proposed merger of 21st Century Fox Inc and Sky plc, claiming it would ”undermine media plurality and be against the public interest”. The EFJ and IFJ joined forces with the National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland and the UK Trades Union Congress and the European TUC to welcome the decision of the European Commission to examine the bid and urged it to consider the impact on media diversity and plurality in the UK. In its submission to the investigation the IFJ called for action to…

Journalists might face up to 14 years in jail in the UK

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) back their British affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in its concerns over the proposals to update the Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom. Due to the new way of defining espionage, including “obtaining sensitive information”, as well as “passing it on”, journalists, whom are simply working on their stories, can potentially face up to 14 years in prison by receiving some secret information. These proposals completely ignore the right of journalists to disclose information in the public interest and would also punish severely whistleblowers,…

Irish government urged to back demands for action on O’Hagan murder

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland, calling on the Irish government to apply pressure on British prime minister Theresa May for a new investigation into the murder of Sunday World journalist and NUJ activist Martin O’Hagan.  On the 15th anniversary of his death, the NUJ has called on the Irish foreign affairs minister, Charlie Flanagan, to support the call by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the authorities in the UK to intensify their efforts to find the killers. Dunja Mijatović, an…

Belgian Journalist Philippe Leruth elected as IFJ President

Delegates of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) meeting at the 29th World Congress in Angers elected Philippe Leruth, member of the Belgian Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels de Belgique (AGJPB) as president of their organization on 9 June 2016. Journalist at the daily L’Avenir, Philippe Leruth was vice-president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European organisation of the IFJ, from 2004 to 2013, and AGJPB president from 1995 to 2005. He is taking over from departing British President, Jim Boumelha, who headed the IFJ from 2007 to 2016. “The first challenge is to restore IFJ unity” said the newly elected…

Irish government must restore freelance rights for collective barganing

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), joining its affiliate in Ireland the National Union of Journalists, is welcoming the decision of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to challenge Ireland’s failure to treat freelance workers in accordance with the rights enshrined in the organisation’s convention. Following a complaint by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) the Irish government faces questions at the ILO assembly in Geneva about the treatment of freelance workers, who are denied the right to be collectively represented by unions as a result of the actions of the former Competition Authority in Ireland. The complaint was lodged…

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