Norway: Government presents Coronavirus aid package for media

The Norwegian government presented on May 12 a proposal for a media aid package to address the financial situation of the country’s media during the coronavirus crisis. The Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) welcomed the package but warned that the initial amount of 300 million NOK (27 million euros) will not be enough to save the whole industry and maintain the media plurality in the country. The package is estimated to cover up to 60 per cent of the financial loss suffered by the media industry due to the pandemic. It can be used by national media organisations which have a turnover…

EFJ condemns discrediting of journalists by Slovenian PM

The Slovenian Prime Minister, Janez Janša, published on 11 May, in the government’s official website, a story about his so-called “war with the media”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Slovenian affiliates, the Slovenian Association of Journalists (DNS) and the Union of Slovenian Journalists (SNS), in condemning this despicable attempt to discredit journalists. Janez Janša blames in his text the journalists in general: “The professional group in western civilisation that first declared itself the seventh power, then the fourth (unelected) branch of power and finally the moral judge of political correctness, is increasingly difficult to recognise today as…

Portuguese journalists banned from entering Spain

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliates, the Union of Portuguese Journalists (SinJor) and the Spanish Federation of Journalists’ Associations (FAPE), in calling on the Spanish and Portuguese governments to allow journalists from both countries to cross the border to carry out their work. On 7 May 2020, Spanish border guards at the Ayamonte border post banned a team of three Portuguese journalists from Lusa news agency from entering Spanish territory to report on the work of Portuguese cross-border workers in Spain. The Portuguese journalists showed their official press cards, but were not allowed to cross the border,…

Belarus: four journalists sent to prison just for doing their job

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined its affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) in demanding the release of four journalists sent to jail just for doing their job. On 11 and 12 May, courts of Mahilou and Hlybokaye, in Belarus, sentenced four journalists, all of them BAJ members, Ales Asiptsou, Mikhail Arshynski, Alexander Burakou and Zmitser Lupach to 10 days of administrative arrest for alleged “participation in unauthorized protests”. They were in fact just covering these demonstrations for their media. Today, the Leninski District Court announced its decision in the case of Alexander Burakou: 10…

Greece: EFJ/IFJ condemn smear campaign against four sport journalists

The European and International Federations of journalists (EFJ/IFJ) strongly condemned the smear campaign taking place in the streets of Athens against four sport journalists and union members. Around 10 000 posters featuring photos and names of the four journalists were plastered in the early hours of the morning in the streets across Athens on 6 May. Insulting words against the journalists such as “slanderers“, “shameful for 10 euros“, “impostors” were printed on the posters. Three of the targeted journalists are members of Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), and IFJ/EFJ affiliate while the fourth is a member of the…

EFJ condemns Loyalist threats against journalists in Northern Ireland

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland in condemning as “vile” a threat issued to journalists by the South East Antrim Ulster Defence Association (UDA), in Northern Ireland. The dissident loyalist group’s threat was made against journalists at the Belfast-based Sunday World and Sunday Life newspapers. The threat is being taken seriously by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and by the media company. The warnings came in the early hours of 8 May 2020. The PSNI is taking the threat seriously and officers have been in contact…

Governments must ensure the public’s right to know in the COVID-19 pandemic

Following its recent webinar with European Press Councils, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed concern about the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on freedom of information. The EFJ today joined ARTICLE 19 in calling on governments to ensure the public’s right to know in the COVID-19 pandemic. The EFJ and representatives of 17 press and media councils exchanged ideas and discussed in a webinar the impact of the pandemic on journalism. The EFJ expressed concern about access to information for journalists, as well as potential threats or restrictions to freedom of the press due to the crisis. In…