Greece: Crime journalist killed outside his home

Giorgos Karaivaz, a veteran Greek television journalist who specialised in reporting on crime was shot dead on April 9 near his home in Athens. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have expressed their alarm at the cold-blooded murder of a journalist and urged the authorities to investigate what appears to be a planned ambush and targeted killing. According to preliminary reports, Giorgos Karaivaz, who worked for private TV station Star and also ran news blog bloko.gr, was shot several times by two men on a motorbike after parking his car near his home, in Athens, at…

Norway: Mandatory quarantine rule for foreign journalists must be amended

The Norwegian government has decided it will require a mandatory quarantine of 10 days for all foreign journalists on assignment in Norway. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliate, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), in its call for an urgent amendment to a measure that will make it almost impossible for foreign journalists to report in Norway. The NJ, along with national media and editors associations wrote to the government calling for exemptions for foreign journalists on assignment in Norway from the country’s Covid-19 regulations. According to the NJ, the quarantine obligation is problematic because it will make it virtually…

Belarus: leaders of journalists’ organisations in Europe call on heads of governments to take action

Leaders of 50 journalists’ unions and associations in 34 European countries today called on their governments to intensify pressure and take action in the face of constant violations of human rights and press freedom in Belarus. In a joint letter, they urge their head of government to demand from the Belarusian authorities the immediate release of the 12 imprisoned journalists and the withdrawal of administrative and criminal proceedings against Belarusian journalists. On the initiative of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), the leaders of 50 journalists’ organisations in 34…

We ask MEPs to vote against adoption of Terrorist Content Online Regulation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined 60 other journalists’ associations, human rights organisations and research institutes in asking MEPs to reject the Terrorist Content Online Regulation, which will be debated in the European Parliament on 28 April 2021. In a letter sent on 24 March, the coalition stressed the dangerous precedent such a legislation, if adopted, would set for freedom of expression and opinion as well as for any future legislation regulating the digital market. The Regulation “as it stands now has no place in EU law,” we wrote. Together with media organisations the EFJ has been lobbying…

Defamation lawsuit against Gazeta Wyborcza editor-in-chief by Polish Justice Minister must be dropped

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today in strongly condemning the civil defamation lawsuit launched against the editor-in-chief of Poland’s biggest daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza by the serving Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro. Our organisations consider this to be yet another example of the Justice Ministry’s use of lawsuits as a tool for pressuring and financially draining the newspaper, which is one of the staunchest critics of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS). We call directly on the Minister, who is also the Prosecutor-General of Poland, to immediately withdraw the lawsuit and…

Serbia: Groups condemn deafening silence of government over KRIK smear campaign

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined nine other media freedom groups in writing to the Serbian president Vučić and prime minister Brnabić to express serious concerns over the lack of a resolute government response to the dangerous smear campaign against independent news outlet KRIK. The muted response from government leaders was the main catalyst for four of the nine non-state members of the newly-established Working Group for the Security and Protection of Journalists to withdraw, undermining its work and posing questions over trust in the body. Read the letter.

EFJ joined 23 organisations in expressing solidarity with the Swedish media outlet Realtid

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined twenty-three organisations in expressing their solidarity with the Swedish business and finance publication, Realtid, its editor, and the two journalists being sued for defamation in London. Realtid are due before the High Court on 24 March for a two-day remote hearing that will decide whether England and Wales is the appropriate jurisdiction for the case to be heard. Realtid is being sued by Swedish businessman, Svante Kumlin, and his group of companies Eco Energy World (EEW), for eight articles that they published last year. Realtid had been investigating EEW ahead of an impending…

ETUC demands the Russian authorities to end the intimidation of journalists

The Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), where the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented, adopted a new resolution on Monday condemning the repression of protesters and journalists in Russia. The ETUC demands the Russian authorities “to end the intimidation of protesters, who are peacefully expressing their opinions, and of journalists, who are just doing their jobs.” The ETUC is seriously concerned about the Russian government’s lack of respect of fundamental freedoms, following the harsh repression of public protests: “The Russian authorities used force to disperse protests detaining record numbers of people, many of whom were…

Austria: Federal government urgently needs to propose new funding model for Wiener Zeitung

The world’s oldest daily newspaper still in publication, Austria’s Wiener Zeitung, is facing possible closure of its print edition as the government’s plans to remove mandatory public advertisements of companies have become clearer. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Austrian affiliates, the Austrian Press Union (GPA) and younion_Die Daseinsgewerkschaft, in urging the federal government to propose an alternative plan to finance Wiener Zeitung in order to avoid job losses and further deterioration of media pluralism. The plans announced by the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and Greens coalition are by no means new. The mandatory public advertisements of companies in…

Call for governments and EU commission to reactivate cultural life in Europe

Following the open letter published by 110 pan-European networks on 30 October 2020 “Make culture central in the EU recovery”, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the group again to reiterate their call to the national governments and the European Commission. In the second open letter  published today by the group, coordinated by Culture Action Europe, the European cultural community call on the Member States and the European Commission to secure a future for culture and cultural life in Europe. Culture must be included in each and every National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) that EU countries should present to…