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…

Coalition to make whistleblowing safe during COVID-19 and beyond

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined coalition in calling on all public authorities to ensure and strengthen whistleblower protection during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The signatories to this letter call on all public authorities and institutions to protect those who report or expose the harms, abuses and serious wrongdoing that arise during this period of crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also encourage all citizens and workers to participate in ensuring our governments, corporate institutions and markets remain accountable, and in defending the human rights and freedoms of all people. The COVID-19…

COVID-19: political interference in the media in Kosovo

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on media in Kosovo to refrain from intensifying tensions in a health crisis. The quarantine of the city of North Mitrovica has resulted in inappropriate and unethical media coverage. The EFJ strongly denounces these discrepancies which show strong political interference in some media in Kosovo. Unsupported statements and provocative questions asked by a journalist from the Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK) while reporting live from North Mitrovica on Saturday evening’s news raised a wave of reactions in Kosovo. The remarks risk contributing in raising tensions between Serb and Albanian communities. On Friday, the…