Sweden: Freelance fees recommendation will be increased in 2019

On November 12, the Swedish Union of Journalists (SJ) announced an increase of the recommended fees for freelances by 1.8 percent starting January 2019. The increase will concern also fixed freelance fees. This is to adjust the increased salaries by 1.8 percent accomplished through the recent collective agreement. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports its Swedish affiliate in this decision, recognizing that recommendations play a crucial role for many freelancers. Since the 1970s, the SUJ has issued recommended freelance rates per hour, equivalent to the average monthly wage of an employed journalist. This “freelance recommendation” consists partly in a recommended…

Nine international organisations urge EU officials to raise Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis during EU-Turkey high political dialogue

To the attention of:  EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Federica Mogherini,  EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn,  We, the undersigned organisations, urge the addressed European Union (EU) officials to discuss Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis and fractured rule of law during their high level political dialogue with the Turkish government on 22 November 2018.  More than 160 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey today, with hundreds more on trial for exercising their right to freedom of expression. In 2018, the World Press Freedom Index…

JURI Committee strengthens EU-wide protection for whistleblowers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the vote of the EU Legal Affairs Committee for an EU-wide protection and support for whistleblowers. Today, Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee MEPs approved draft legislation to guarantee that whistleblowers in the EU can report breaches of EU law in the area of tax evasion, corruption, environmental protection and public health and safety, without fear of retaliation or intimidation. MEPs agreed that the same protection measures must also apply to those assisting the reporting person, including journalists. The text was adopted by 22 votes to none against, with 1 abstention. Proposals to set up safe mechanisms…

Open letter to European Institutions: public reporting must be a safe option for whistleblowers

On behalf of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), EFJ (the European Federation of Journalists), EMMA (European Magazine Media Association), ENPA (the European Newspaper Association) and NME (News Media Europe), we would like to strongly encourage the Members of the European Parliament and the Council representatives to ensure that the proposed directive on the protection of whistleblowers, which is currently being negotiated in both institutions, guarantees a robust protection for persons choosing to turn to the media to report unlawful or wrongful acts. The draft directive, as proposed by the European Commission in April 2018, falls short when it comes to…

IFJ and EFJ demand answer after Israeli attack on leaders

IFJ and EFJ leaders came under a tear gas attack today after Israeli soldiers fired on a peaceful assembly demanding the right to freedom of movement for Palestinian journalists, in Ramallah. The European Federation of Journalists joins IFJ in demanding answer after Israeli attack. One member of the IFJ’s Executive Committee was injured after being hit on the shoulder and many others were left choking after the attack. In an open letter to the Israeli Prime Minister, the IFJ – whose Executive Committee is meeting in Ramallah – has demanded an urgent response to the unprovoked attack on the peaceful…

EP LIBE committee calls for an efficient fight against corruption in Malta and Slovakia

On November 14, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) issued the final report on its ad hoc fact-finding mission concerning the situation in Malta and Slovakia, which has uncovered a worrying condition for free press in both countries. The mission took place on 17-20 September 2018, following the murders of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and the Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak – killed together with his fiancée. The MEPs exchanged views with journalists, officials, NGOs and representatives of the victims’ families. The mission was recommended by the new monitoring group on rule of law and the…

E-evidence: A call for protection of the free and independent media in Europe

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission presented the proposal for a Regulation on European production and preservation orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters (COM(2018) 225 final). The European Commission’s proposal aims at providing judicial authorities in European Member States with a tool to request the production or preservation of electronic data stored in a different Member State via production and/or preservation orders needed for investigation and prosecution purposes in crimes identified by the proposal. The proposal would allow the competent authorities in the issuing Member State to directly approach service providers based in an EU Member State to…

EFJ calls on MEPs to support TPWC Directive to protect workers’ rights

UPDATE (15.11.18): the European Parliament voted in favour of the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions. Find more information here. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today called on Members of the European Parliament to support the draft Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions to protect the rights of precarious workers across Europe. On 15th November 2018, the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive will be voted in the European Parliament.  The vote will determine whether the draft Directive can proceed to the next stage of the legislative process giving the European Parliament the mandate to negotiate on the position agreed…

EFJ-IFJ launch a transitional solidarity fund for journalists in Turkey

Journalists in Turkey have in recent years faced unprecedented state crackdown. Despite the lifting in July 2018 of a two-year long state of emergency, the press continues to be stifled and journalists to face trials, job insecurity and abuse. Thousands of journalists have been sacked in recently years, particularly in the last two, with catastrophic impact on the victims and their families. To support journalists in need and their families, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have established a transitional solidarity fund for journalists in Turkey. This solidarity fund provides financial relief to prosecuted and sacked journalists. It…

Demonising the media: Threats to journalists in Europe

Burned in effigy. Insulted. Menaced. Spat at. Discredited by their nation’s leaders. Assaulted. Sued. Homes strafed with automatic weapons. Rape threats. Death threats. Assassinations. This is the landscape faced by journalists throughout Europe over the past four years. Mapping Media Freedom, managed by Index on Censorship with the support of the EFJ, has documented media freedom incidents across Europe — over 3,000 were surveyed for this report — since May 2014. The information gathered shows journalists and media outlets targeted in a kaleidoscopic array by political leaders, businesses and the general public – but some key trends have emerged from…

Italy: Deputy Prime Minister Di Maio insulted journalists

On November 10 2018, in occasion of the acquittal of Virginia Raggi, the mayor of Rome who was charged with forgery in relation to the appointment of Renato Marra as head of the Tourism Department, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and the Five Stars Movement MP Alessandro Di Battista attacked again Italian journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its Italian affiliate, Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI), in organising a protest action  on November 13 to speak out against these systematic attacks against the press in Italy with the hashtag #GiùLeManiDallInformazione (Hands off the information).…