Compromised independence of Turkey’s institutions chokes press freedom

Turkey’s press freedom crisis is worsening amid growing state capture of media, the lack of independence of regulatory institutions, and a new social media law designed to clamp down on the remaining spaces for free comment, a coalition of 11 international press freedom, journalism and human rights groups, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), warned following a four-day mission to the country last week. They also flagged the continued jailing and prosecution of journalists as well as ongoing concerns over the safety of journalists and judicial independence. The coalition held hybrid online/offline meetings last week in Istanbul and Ankara…

Stars4Media EU programme awarded five innovative journalistic pieces

The EU training and exchange programme Stars4Media has delivered its promises despite the COVID-19 outbreak. During one year, the pilot project involved 105 media professionals from 42 media outlets in 17 European countries. At the occasion of the Media4Europe conference, which took place on 14 October, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) awarded the most outstanding Initiatives, among the 21 completed. “You are all winners, stressed EFJ director and jury member Renate Schroeder as the programme already selected 21 Initiatives in Spring 2020. Together with the jury members, we decided to…

Council of Europe publishes alarming new study on safety of journalists

Undue pressures and harassment against journalists – often leading the limitation or even the suppression of the dissemination of public interest information and self-censorship – are still occurring among journalists in Europe, says a new book titled “A mission to inform: journalists at risk speak out” published today by the Council of Europe. This book is a unique exploration of the intimidation of journalists across Europe and it provides an invaluable resource to everyone concerned with the protection of journalists, including government authorities and media practitioners. Co-authored by Prof Marilyn Clark and William Horsley, the book complements the 2017 Study…

Media and journalists request journalists’ exemption in draft terrorist content online regulation

The latest compromise of the German Presidency on the draft regulation on the proposal for a regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online raises great concerns regarding media freedom and fundamental rights among media and journalists’ organisations. The draft is currently in tripartite discussions between the Council of Ministers under the German Presidency, the European Parliament and the EU Commission with the aim to come to a final adopted text before the end of this year.  In the view of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and media organisations including the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), European Magazine Media Association…

Armenia: new amendments to the martial law seriously undermine media freedom

On 8 October, the Armenian authorities decided to amend the martial law declared on 27 September 2020, which from now on prohibits the publication of reports criticising the actions of the government, officials and local bodies. It also gives increased power to the police to give fines, freeze assets and request removal of content from media outlets. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined its affiliate in Armenia in denouncing a blatant violation of media freedom in a context where non-partisan information is crucial. The amendments refer in particular to the publication of reports “criticising”, “refuting actions of…

DW journalists will get 6.2% pay rise by end of 2022

Following the last round of negotiation on 7 October, members of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in Germany (DJV and dju in ver.di)  finally reached an agreement with the management of Deutsche Welle (DW) for the new collective agreement to have 6.2% salary increase by the end of 2022. The EFJ has congratulated its members for the tough negotiation which led to a positive outcome for the DW journalists. According to the new agreement, journalists’ salaries at DW will be increased by 2.1% each year for the first two years and another 2% in the third year, amounting to…

Croatia: President Milanović is urged to stop attacking media and journalists

Together with the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) the European Federation of Journalists is urging the President of the Republic, Zoran Milanović, to stop calling out the media and journalists, which he has been doing intensively in recent days through posts on Facebook and interviews. Milanović has been publicly insulting several media outlets, journalists as well as members of the opposition and a political anaylist in ad hominem attacks. The insults began after a major corruption scandal involving an oil pipeline company was revealed in September. Milanović admitted having gone to a secret club during the lockdown in March, where apparently…

Belarus: at least 40 journalists detained on Sunday

Belarusian riot police detained dozens of protesters in several cities on Sunday as thousands rallied for the ninth consecutive Sunday rally against the fraudulent election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. At least 40 journalists were detained in Belarus on Sunday. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) demands sanctions against those who try to censor mass protests by arresting journalists. According to the reports of the Belarusain Association of Journalists (BAJ), the EFJ affiliate in Belarus, Belarusian security forces detained journalists just before people gathered in the streets. BAJ registered 40 cases of detention of journalists in Minsk, Grodno, Vitebsk, Mogilev,…

EFJ joined coalition to condemn verdict against journalist Jovo Martinovic

The European Federation of Journalists today joined journalists’ and press freedom organisations in expressing dismay at the decision of a court in Montenegro to find journalist Jovo Martinović guilty of participating in drug trafficking, despite clear evidence he was working undercover as part of an investigation at the time. The Media Freedom Rapid Response partners and media freedom organisations strongly condemn today’s decision by the High Court of Montenegro to sentence investigative journalist Jovo Martinovic to one year in prison for participating in drug trafficking. While he was acquitted on charges for membership in a criminal organization and will not spend time…