EFJ and IFJ condemn Russian jailing of Ukrainian journalist for espionage

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have urged the Russian authorities to release a Ukrainian journalist given a 12-year sentence for alleged espionage. Roman Sushchenko was sentenced to 12 years in a high security prison on 4 June, after he was found guilty of spying by a Moscow court. The EFJ-IFJ joined its affiliates the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) in condemning the harsh verdict and in urging Russian authorities to release Sushchenko until thorough evidence of the allegations against him has been presented. Suschenko, a Paris-based correspondent…

Robot Journalism – We should not be afraid

Robot journalism or automation is becoming an important part of news production. It speed up news production and generate a vast amount of content in a matter of sector to be distributed and consumed in print and online. However, we know little about how news automation work and its implication on ethics and quality of journalism, as well as the impact on human journalists. These questions were explored in a workshop organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) within the framework of the Media Road project on 5 June in Lisbon, Portugal. The workshop was attended by around 40…

IFJ and EFJ condemn threats against journalists in Ukraine

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) condemned today the increasing verbal and online violence against journalists in Ukraine. On 30 May 2018, Larissa Sargan, spokeswoman of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, posted on her Facebook profile a list of 26 so-called “traitors” who criticized the law enforcement authorities after the so-called “murder” in Kyiv of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko. The “murder” was in fact an operation in which Ukrainian security services (SBU) faked Babchenkos’s assassination. Two journalists appear in Larissa Sargan’s list of so-called traitors: Myroslava Gongadze and Sergiy Tomilenko, who is the President of the National Union…

Croatia: hate speech on the rise but hope for change

In January 2018 an international delegation of press freedom organisation representatives visited Zagreb for the second time in two years to observe the state of media freedom in Croatia. Now, the report is out, and these are the recommendations. After a joint mission of media freedom organisations in June 2016 produced particularly bad results, a new delegation, consisting of representatives of the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (represented by Marijana Camovic, member of the EFJ Steering Committee)…

Ukrainian security services faked Arkady Babchenko’s death

UPDATE (30/05/2018) Arkady Babchenko, the Russian journalist who was reported to have been shot dead in Kiev, has turned up alive at a news conference in Ukraine this afternoon. Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian security service, told reporters the agency had faked Babchenko’s death to catch people who were trying to kill him. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this lie and unacceptable manipulation of public opinion. Whenever subterfuge is used, journalists and media, like law-enforcement officials, have a responsibility to disclose how and why they used it and to justify their actions. The EFJ is not convinced by the…

German journalists strike after fifth negotiation round ends without agreement

Newspaper journalists went on strike all over Germany on 28 May 2018 after the fifth round of negotiations for a collective agreement between publishers and two German journalist unions, the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Journalisten Union (dju in ver.di), in Berlin ended without a result. For the last few months, the DJV and dju in ver.di, the German affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have been in negotiations with the Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) to improve the working conditions for around 13,000 editors at daily newspapers. The negotiations were accompanied by numerous warning strikes…

#endimpunity: the murder case of Dusko Jovanovic reported to the CoE platform

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed its affiliate the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) in demanding the authorities in Montenegro to urgently “secure the conditions for carrying out an independent investigation of assassination of Dusko Jovanovic, the editor-in-chief of newspaper “Dan”. It has passed 14 years since our colleague Jovanovic was murdered, and state authorities failed to detect, find and arrest the perpetrators and masterminds of the most grave violation against journalists in the history of Montenegro. Dusko Jovanovic was killed on May 27, 2004 in front of the editorial offices of his newspaper in Podgorica. After 14…

EFJ calls on EU to reinstate media freedom budget

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) sent a letter to the Commissioners Gabriel and Oettinger on 24 May 2018 to express our concern that freedom of expression will not be reflected in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). We believe that it is crucial for media freedom and media pluralism to be given a clear priority in the EU budget for the future (2021-2027). Other media freedom organisations like the ECPMF sent a letter to Commissioners Gabriel, Navracsics, Oettinger and First Vice-President of the European Commission Timmermanns. Missing Freedom of expression budget in Multiannual Financial Framework Dear Commissioner, We write to you on…

EFJ and IFJ condemn ban on Russian media in Ukraine

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) today condemned the updated sanctions list signed on 14 May by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and published yesterday which bans for three years Russian media organisations based in Ukraine, including Russian news agencies RIA Novosti, Rossiyasegodnya.rf, Sputniknews.com, Rsport.ria.ru, 1prime.ru, Realty.ria.ru and rian.com.ua. Russian TV channels rtr-planeta.com, russia.tv, vesti.ru, tvkultura.ru, digitalrussia.tv are also banned. The move comes a week after a RIA Novosti journalist was detained in Kiev and accused of treason. The decree introduces measures such as blocking of assets, limiting or stopping the provision of telecommunications services and the use of public telecommunications networks,…

Joint statement on the advocate general’ opinion on Land NRW vs Dirk Renckhoff

The undersigned organisations represent photographers, photojournalists, journalists, painters, sculptors, designers, architects and street artists. Our organisations are deeply concerned that the statement of the General Advocate (GA) to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Mr Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona, dated 25 April 2018 and concerning the case C–161/17 – Land NRW vs Dirk Renckhoff could, if implemented, strongly damage authors’ position and the protection of their authors’ rights. We believe that the damage caused by the expropriation of authors require an immediate action by the European legislator. Our members are much concerned that the General Advocate’s interpretations of EU…

Broadcasting strike in Norway ends in full victory for journalists

After negotiations for a collective agreement with the Norwegian Public Broadcasting (NRK), the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) managed to win on all main demands on 23 May 2018 in Oslo. The 1700 journalist members of the NJ at the Norwegian Public Service Broadcasting NRK had gone on strike on 15 May 2018, after initial negotiations and mediation had not led to a new collective agreement. The public service broadcasting NRK is the largest media house in Norway, with 3400 employees. After eight days of renewed negotiations workers of the NJ and NRK came to an agreement: competence enhancement and training…