We call for ambitious EU budgetary measures to get through the COVID-19 crisis

Time to put words into action! Europe’s cultural and creative sectors were among the first and hardest hit by the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. They will also be among the last. Across Europe, almost all cultural activities have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, while venues and retailers have closed with disastrous consequences for all creators’ and cultural and creative professionals’ livelihoods, as well as the ecosystem as a whole. Millions of jobs are on the line. In its Resolution on how to combat the COVID-19 crisis and its consequences1 , the European Parliament rightly underlines that the cultural and creative sectors “have…

COVID-19: Emergency Appeal for Journalism and Media Support

On this World Press Freedom Day, the undersigned organisations honour those who work tirelessly to help keep the public informed and call for robust support for independent journalism. Millions of people around the world are looking for reliable, fact-based, and gender-sensitive journalism that can help them navigate the biggest shared challenge of our lifetime. The need for trustworthy information has never been greater and more urgent than during this pandemic. Access to timely, high-quality information is imperative during a global health crisis; it is one of the key pillars required to slow the spread of this virus, mitigate its impacts,…

Workers’ Day: EFJ calls for more support and solidarity for journalists during COVID-19 pandemic

“1 May 2020 will be another International Workers’ Day that many journalists will spend working. But this time, many journalists will do so without knowing if their pay will be 30% or 50% lower or if they will be out of work next month,” said Andrea Roth, Chair of the Labour Rights Expert Group of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the “lockdown” measures, many journalists, particularly freelance journalists, have lost their incomes because of salary cuts, delayed payment or no assignments. This happens at a time when journalists are most needed to inform…

Journalists’ unions urge COVID-19 recovery plans to sustain the media sector now and into the future

Journalists and media companies need ambitious packages to effectively face the devastating social and economic impact of the global COVID-19 crisis on the media sector. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) published on 8 April its proposals for recovery plans at the European and national levels (in English and French) and presented them to EU Commissioners Véra Jourová (DG Values and Transparency) and Thierry Breton (DG Internal Market). Journalists’ unions throughout Europe have followed with concrete measures to save journalism not only now, but also into the future. Croatia The different financial packages announced by the Croatian government have not…

In Croatia, journalists’ unions raise the alarm about the COVID-19 impact on journalism

The Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) and the Croatian Journalists Association (CJA) urged in a letter the government “to save journalism” by taking financial compensation measures for the media sector. If nothing is done, mass layoffs will occur and media will shutdown, they warned. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in urgently requesting a media recovery plan. The government didn’t include the media sector in its financial relief packages intended to help the economic activity affected by the pandemic and the earthquake. “Job losses and pay cuts have already begun. They could eventually lead to a…

EU urged again to protect rule of law during COVID-19 states of emergency

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined 80 MEPs and civil society organisations, including Transparency International and Access Info Europe, in calling on the European Union to address restrictions on the rule of law and human rights, including freedom of expression and information, being introduced via coronavirus pandemic emergency measures. In an open letter sent to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel, the signatories warn of the misuse of the coronavirus crisis to silence dissent, limit freedom of expression, marginalise civil society, and erode democratic values. The letter also calls on the EU to…

Good practices for press conferences during COVID-19 pandemic

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes some good practices regarding the holding of press conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many countries are still restricting this democratic exercice under the pretext of ensuring the safety of journalists. The EFJ urges countries where journalists are not allowed to ask questions live to adapt in such a critical moment, for example with the use of video conferencing system. While journalists should not expose themselves in crowded conference rooms, the EFJ reminds that it is equally important not to restrict press freedom and journalists’ ability to ask questions. Even during total lockdown,…

COVID-19: Council of Europe calls on members states to protect free flow of information

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the Council of Europe’s call on member governments to protect free flow of information in times of crisis. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, wrote to the EFJ and other members of the Council of Europe Platform for the protection of journalism and safety of journalists in response to our call for determined actions to protect free flow of information to tackle COVID-19. In her letter, Ms Pejčinović Burić states that “extraordinary measures may introduce restrictions to a number of rights, including freedom of expression, but these must remain lawful, proportional to the threat…

EFJ calls on EU and governments to fight the COVID-19 crisis in the media sector

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), representing 320,000 journalists across Europe, calls on national governments, the European Commission and the European Parliament to take rapid, targeted and coordinated action in support of all workers – staff, freelance and self-employed – and companies in response to the devastating social and economic impact of the global COVID-19 crisis on the media sector. COVID-19 is spawning a global press-freedom crackdown. In the face of this pandemic, European citizens need professional, economically secure journalists more than ever. The EU should take action and encourage its Member States to take action. EU and national emergency…