Copyright Directive: IFJ/EFJ reject the Romanian compromise

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ), the world and Europe’s largest journalists’ organisations, call on EU Institutions to reject provisions and proposals that aim to restrict or obliterate journalists’ remuneration, ahead of final negotiations on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM). It is with great dismay and disbelief that the IFJ and the EFJ have read the EU Presidency’s latest proposals regarding journalists’ remuneration in the context of the draft legislation. While floating a possible compromise idea of an “appropriate and proportionate” remuneration for authors in Recital 39Y and presumably in Article -14, the…

Belgium enforces largely opposed €50 security check fee to cover the EU

The Belgian government passed a bill  or “Taxe Michel” forcing media workers (journalists and technicians), residing in Belgium or Belgian, to pay a mandatory €50 fee for the security screening document it delivers to authorize access to EU events. It debuted at last October’s EU Summit. The Belgian Union of Journalists (AJP) opposed the law 6 months ago to no avail. About 1000 journalists, either Belgian or residing in Belgium, will be forced to pay the fee. Belgium has now started billing journalists or their employers and the European Federation of Journalist joins the AJP ‘s recommendation to refuse to…

France: “No media should be a scapegoat” appeal

French journalists ‘safety is being increasingly threatened amid tensions covering the Gilet Jaunes (Yellow Vests) demonstrations across France. From insults and menaces to physical injuries, journalists are under attack from both demonstrators and the police. Publishers face the threat of their newspapers being blocked. Invectives on social media are on the rise. Amid a climate of defiance towards the media, anti-media rhetoric is commonplace in French society. The French media industry addressed these concerns publicly in an open letter in French newspapers on 15 January 2019 which was co-signed by the European Federation of Journalist (EFJ) together with its French…

Ukraine: physical assaults against female journalists rise by 50% in 2018

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) released its 2018 “Ukraine’s Journalists Physical Safety Index”. The situation has worsened for journalists since last year with 86 attacks in 2018, with a notable rise of attacks on female journalists, from 23 in 2017 to 37 in 2018. Sergiy Tomilenko, NUJU President explains: “Such a dramatic increase in aggression against female journalists is due to the unacceptable impunity from prosecution assailants enjoy. Impunity from prosecution after attacking media workers is one of our most prevalent issues.” It is best illustrated by what happened to Donbas war reporter Natalia Nagora. Working for…

Whistleblowers: EU Council wants to limit reporting to authorities and media

The Council of the European Union adopted on Friday 25 January its general approach on the protection of whistleblowers. The trilogue between the three European institutions has started with the aim to find a compromise before the next European elections. The political agreement between the 28 Member States determines under what conditions whistleblowers can report breaches of EU law to be granted protection against retaliation. It foresees that a whistleblower must, as a rule, first make a report inside his/her company. Reporting to the media directly would only be allowed in three cases: no action was taken following a report within…

Grenoble: arson ravages France Bleu Isère radio

UPDATE (30-01-2019) – French Anarchist blog has claimed arson on both Radio Bleu Isère and an Haute-Jarrie telecoms relay tower, last night, in a strategy of systemic attacks on French Media in the region. Sunday night around 2:30 a.m., France Bleu Isère radio studios and offices were set on fire after arsonist(s) broke in. The police found enough evidence to immediately start a criminal investigation. The Editor-in-Chief of the French public regional station, Léopold Strajnic, told the police he had not received any threats prior to the attack. In the current climate, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) vigorously condemns another attack…

Sweden: Freelance journalists successfully obtain fee rise

The freelance section of the Swedish Union of Journalists (SJ) obtained a fee rise agreement with several big Swedish newspaper publishers. Agreements were reached thanks to a joint effort of individual freelance journalists, the Swedish Freelance Section of the Swedish Union of Journalists, Frilans Riks, and the local trade union branches at the publishing companies. The SJ issued its recommended new fees for freelance journalists last November to come into effect in 2019. Two Morning papers: Sydsvenska Dagbladet and Helsingborgs Dagblad will be implementing a two percent yearly increase, the first raise since a substential raise in 2015. Sweden’s biggest…

Turkey: solidarity with a newspaper is not a crime

UPDATE (29-01-2019) : Ayşe Düzkan and four other journalist were sentenced to prison because of participating in the “Editor-in-Chief on Duty” campaign with the now-closed Özgür Gündem newspaper. Today, Ayşe Düzkan went to the prosecution office and was sent to Bakırköy prison. Her friends, her colleagues and also DİSK Basın İş members were with her. She was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison. But it is not certain how much time she will stay in prison yet. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is calling the Turkish authorities to immediately release Ayse and the other journalists sentenced in the framework…

Mapping Media Freedom: 283 attacks against investigative reporters since 2014

Mapping Media Freedom’s latest report aims to raise awareness among international and national decision-makers who seem to ignore how dire the situation really is across Europe. The MMF project managed by Index on Censorship, in partnership with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), monitors the threats, violations and limitations faced by investigative reporters in 43 countries — throughout European Union member states, candidates for entry and neighbouring countries.  Since 2014, 283 attacks were reported against investigative journalists. Mapping Media Freedom’s numbers reflect only what has been reported to the platform. Journalists tend to under-report incidents they consider minor, commonplace or part…

Greece: three journalists assaulted by far-right demonstrators

On 20 January 2019, German journalist Thomas Jacobi, Greek photojournalist Kostis Ntantamis, as well as a cameraman for the public broadcaster ERT, have been attacked by members of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn in Athens. The three journalists were covering a protest held outside the parliament building on Syntagma Square about the renaming of North Macedonia. Journalist Thomas Iacobi, co-author of our documentary, was attacked in Athens today, while on the job, by a group of fascists, who identified him and called out to him: "You! you made that documentary on Golden Dawn!"[Audio from the attack (Greek): https://t.co/OrDsJyMDEt] —…

Ukraine: Kherson daily “New Day” tear-gassed and shot during press conference

On 18 January 2019, during a press conference hosted by the press club of the daily “New Day” (Novyi Den) in Kherson, Ukraine, the newspaper came under attack from assailants using rubber bullets and tear-gas from outside the building, before entering. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its member in Ukraine, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in strongly condemning this attack endangering Khersonian journalists’ lives. “We demand a thorough investigation and that the culprits be swiftly broad to justice for no lesser charges than an armed assault on a newspaper,” said the EFJ General Secretary Ricardo…