European Federation of Journalists

EESC report points out decline of media freedom in Europe

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which is composed of three groups representing the EU’s trade unions, employers’ organisations and diverse civil society organisations, issued an interim report on fundamental rights and the rule of law in Romania, Hungary, Poland, Austria and France. This report highlights serious concerns regarding freedom of expression and the media as put forward by civil society in the targeted countries. Building on this newly published report, the EESC held in Brussels on 5 November a high-level conference on “Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law – Trends in the EU from a civil society…

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…

Meeting of the Advisory Board of “The illiberal Turn” Project

Dr Vaclav Stetka (PI) and Professor Sabina Mihelj (Co-I) have been awarded an ESRC standard research grant for a project titled “The Illiberal Turn? News Consumption, Political Polarisation and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe” (£817,000). The project will carry out a comparative analysis of the relationship between news consumption and political attitudes in four CEE countries – Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Serbia, at a key point in time when the region is witnessing the rise of populist leaders, resurgence of illiberal nationalism, and a shift towards authoritarian forms of government. Scheduled to run from May 2019 until November 2021,…

Journalists’ Debate: “Freedom of speech, it’s what I love, it’s what I understand”

The conference is organised by the Journalists Solidarity Foundation and the Polish Journalists Association (SDP). The conference title – Freedom (of speech) it’s what I love, it’s what I understand – quotes a well-known song by the popular Polish rock band of the 1990s to highlight that freedom of speech is not just a theoretical concept. We need to cherish freedom in order to be able to stand up for it when jeopardized, whatever the dangers. This was the case in Poland and in other countries which had been subjected to Russia for several dozens of years. Communism had fallen but we…

Italian journalist killed during the Strasbourg attack

On December 13, Antonio Megalizzi, an Italian journalist who had been seriously hurt at the head during the gun attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, died after being for few days in a coma. His conditions were partiicularly bad since the very first moment and when he arrived at the hospital it was clear that he was struggling between life and death. Megalizzi, who was only 28 years old, went in Strasbourg as a voluntary journalist of Europhonica, a shared radio show aiming to give voice to independent student and university media interested in Europe. The show broadcasts from the European Parliament…

EP Public hearing – Role of Independent Public Service Media for Democracy in Europe

Independence of Public Service Media (PSM) in Europe is under increased pressure in a number of the EU Member States. Destabilization of this democratic institution in the context of the overall challenges in Europe and weakening of other democratic institutions, such as political parties represents a real threat to the democracy in Europe. The PSM in Hungary is under the full control of Orban. In 2016 a political cleansing took place in the public service broadcaster in Poland followed by a political purge in the Croatian broadcaster. Recently the Czech Television is under pressure for rejection of their annual report,…

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