European Federation of Journalists

Germany: lawyer’s attempts to influence reporting are increasing

German media’s legal departments see an increase of lawyer’s attempts to prevent journalists from reporting. That was found out by the new study “If you write that, I will sue you! Preventive strategies of lawyers against media”, published on 08 August. The research filed by the German Otto Brenner Foundation in cooperation with the “Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte” determined that legal departments receive an average of three preventive warnings per month. The strategy: “press law information letters” Knowing that they don’t have a legal right to prevent a media from publishing an article concerning their clients, lawyers have the common practice…

Freelancers in Belgium: wages remain precariously low

Freelance fees in the french-speaking Belgium haven’t developed for more than ten years. That reveals the latest inquiry “Les tarifs de la pige”, published on 05 August by our Belgian affiliate Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels (AJP). The fourth edition of the study shows, some tariffs of freelance-journalists have remained on the same precarious level since it was first raised in 2007 – and some even dropped below. But it doesn’t have to be like that, says Sophie Lejoly, Deputy Secretary General of the AJP. Whether it’s newspapers, magazines, web editions, TV or radio, public or private media – the…

Newsroom diversity demands real actions instead of lip services

Media leaders should stop seeing diversity as a “nice to have” and treat it as a a “must have” instead. That was determined by the latest study titled “Are Journalists Today’s Coal Miners? The Struggle for Talent and Diversity in Modern Newsrooms”, published on 15 July by the Reuters Institute in cooperation with the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. The research investigated 28 news organisations and journalism schools in Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. “Journalists must reach out to audiences that are becoming more and more diverse while newsrooms must be made attractive to a young and diverse talent…

Gender inequalities in media content and production persist, new study says

The European Parliament has just published its latest study on ‘Gender Equality in the Media Sector’. The study, requested by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and undertaken by the Department of Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional affairs, examines representation and conditions in the media and key elements of European policy towards gender equality in the sector. It also presents case studies in Austria, Malta, Sweden, and the UK. Many women who were interviewed reported widespread discrimination and inequality of opportunities in pay, recruitment, allocation of work, and promotion. Working structures, norms and practices were also seen as advantaging…

“Information Disorders”: Council of Europe committee discusses recommendations to tackle fake news

At the meeting of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), from 5 to 8 December 2017, participants discussed a series of documents and recommendations currently relevant for journalists and media workers. A study by Claire Wardle and Hossein Derakhshan, commissioned by the Council of Europe, highlighted the various aspects of what the authors call “Information Disorders” (not “fake news”). These information disorders come in three forms: misinformation, disinformation and malinformation. Information disorders can be organised or unorganised, and are emotional, visual and repetitive. To counter information disorders, the authors recommend action by content providers…

American Journalism grads facing change

The American Press Institute presented on Thursday the results of a survey of nearly 10,500 journalism and communication graduates from 22 universities across the United States. These graduates are pessimistic about the direction of news in general, but most believe their own work in the last five years has gotten better. The survey found that while just 41% of journalism graduates are employed by news organisations, sizable minorities in other fields still look at themselves as journalists: 22% work for commercial brands, 16% in education and 14% in politics and think tanks. Among the 36% employed in journalism organisations, there…