European Federation of Journalists

Feature: A European Media Freedom Act worthy of its name?

EFJ Director Renate Schroeder wrote about the European Media Freedom Act in an article originally published in Social Europe. Read the article in its entirety here:  Amid a sea of online misinformation, in a ‘polycrisis’ world reliable public-interest journalism has never been more essential. Today, the sustainability of free media is threatened in many European Union countries. Pluralism is lacking, with the rise of the platforms to information monopolies accelerating the shrinkage of the space for independent and public-interest journalism. Media are increasingly captured and controlled by politicians—or subjected to ‘fake news’ smears in the style of the former United…

EFJ, IFJ and media freedom groups call for Klan Kosova business certificate issue to be resolved

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) and the undersigned international media freedom organisations today call for the updated business certificate of Klan Kosova to be accepted by the complaint committee and that all attempts by the Kosovo government to pressure the broadcaster are halted immediately. The latest call by our organisations comes after the unprecedented decision of the Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade, made on 14 June 2023, to suspend the business certificate of Klan Kosova LLC and bring criminal charges against its representatives. While we recognise the requirement for Kosovo authorities to enforce legal obligations regarding…

Media freedom and journalist groups call on EU to secure effective Media Freedom Act

To the EU Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission On behalf of media freedom, journalists and human rights organizations across Europe, we call upon the European Union institutions to negotiate a strong and effective European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) that can counter media capture and protect editorial independence and media pluralism across Europe. Media freedom is in crisis in many EU countries as populist governments and oligarchs collaborate to misuse powers of the state to bolster propaganda and drown out independent media critics. Increasingly, public broadcasters are turned into propaganda platforms while media regulators are captured by political…

European Media Freedom Act: 80 organisations urge the European Parliament to protect journalists from surveillance and spyware

Together with 79 journalists and press freedom, civil society, trade unions, digital rights, publishers and broadcasters organisations, the European Federation of Journalists has sent an open letter today to all members of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), which is discussing the amendments to Article 4 on protection of sources and use of spyware against journalists of the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA). While the European Media Freedom Act represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to safeguard the rights of journalists, the letter says, the recently-adopted Council’s general approach permits the deployment of “intrusive surveillance software” against media service providers on broad national security…

Turkey : EU to prioritise media freedom reforms and human rights in relations with Turkey, ask journalists’ groups

The undersigned organisations call on the incoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union to place media freedom and human rights front and centre of relations with the newly re-elected Government of Turkey. The May elections, which saw a parliamentary majority for the AKP and its allies and the re-election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as President, took place against a backdrop of a media landscape dominated by pro-government outlets, the smothering of independent voices and the repression of critical journalism. Over the past two decades, Turkey’s government has captured over 90% of the media landscape, including direct control…

EMFA: EU Member States show dangerous disregard for media freedom principles

EU governments want to authorise the spying of journalists and their sources on vague grounds of “national security”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly rejects the position of the EU Council on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) and denounces a blow to media freedom, arguing that such legislation would put journalists and their sources even more at risk. The Council reached today, 21 June 2023, an agreement on the much-needed European Media Freedom Act, a legislation proposed by the European Commission on 16 September 2022 with the intention to introduce safeguards against political interference, media concentration, and to…

Open letter: EU Council must protect journalists against spyware and surveillance in the Media Freedom Act

The latest draft compromise text of the EU Council on the European Media Freedom Act provides for a ‘national security’ exception – introduced by France – to the general ban on deploying spyware against journalists without guarantees for the protection of sources. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates and other civil society organisations in urging Member States to reconsider their current position and take steps to meaningfully protect journalists and their fundamental rights. To ensure that the Regulation protects journalists and their fundamental rights, the Council must instead: eliminate the exception for “national security” restrict the list…

Kosovo: EFJ, IFJ and media freedom groups raise alarm over Klan Kosova business certificate suspension

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) joined the undersigned international media freedom organisations in today expressing alarm over the Kosovo authorities’ unprecedented move to suspend the business certificate of major private television broadcaster, Klan Kosova, and bring criminal charges against its representatives. The actions of the Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade are extremely serious and pose a serious threat to the exercise of media freedom in Kosovo. This is the first time in the country’s history that a broadcaster’s business certificate has been suspended in such a manner. Withdrawing the business certificate, which could lead to the…

Italy: International journalists’ and media freedom organisations raise alarm about RAI’s independence

Following the recent resignation of the CEO and other major politically-influenced internal management changes at Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), the Italian public service broadcaster, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned organisations in expressing growing alarm about threats to the editorial independence of the broadcaster. We call on the parliament to initiate a debate aimed at reforming the governance and funding system of RAI and safeguarding its independence. On May 8, 2023, Carlo Fuortes announced his resignation from the post of CEO of RAI, citing political pressure. The high-profile resignation came amidst reports of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Fuortes and…

EU Member States should not use national security as a pretext to weaken the Media Freedom Act

The latest draft compromise text of the EU Council on the European Media Freedom Act poses serious risks to the European Union’s core democratic principles and fundamental rights, notably freedom of expression and the protection of journalists. The European Federation of Journalists reiterates its call to EU Member States to strengthen Article 4 on the rights of media service providers. The text is due to be adopted on 21 June. In its latest appeal on 2 May the EFJ together with all European major broadcasting and publishers organisations had urged Member States to show more ambition on Article 4 (about…

Public letter responding to the CULT draft report on the European Media Freedom Act

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins journalists and press freedom, civil society, trade unions, and digital rights groups in a letter to Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT), in expressing concerns about several changes in the CULT’s report on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA).  Dear Sabine Verheyen, We, the undersigned journalists, press freedom, civil society, trade unions, and digital rights groups, are writing to you with regard to the proposed amendments to the draft  European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) you have written as the Rapporteur on behalf of the Committee on Culture…

New Media Freedom Poll shows worries amongst citizens of the Visegrád Group

A new poll released on Monday (24 April) by the Committee for Editorial Independence and Reporters Without Borders Austria highlights the  increasing concern of the population over the freedom of the press in the V4 countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia). The research was led by Dr Václav Stetka, and gathered answers of over 4,000 people, collected by online questioning or by telephone. The project was commissioned by the Committee for Editorial Independence with the support of the Bakala Foundation, after the assessment that the audience perspective had been largely missing from the debates. It was carried out by the research agency MEDIAN for the…

EFJ and media freedom organisations call for release of US journalist Evan Gershkovich

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined more than 30 global press freedom groups and news organizations in a letter to Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the United States, calling for Evan Gershkovich’s immediate release. Ambassador Anatoly I. Antonov Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States 2650 Wisconsin Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20007 Via email: rusembusa@mid.ru March 30, 2023 Dear Ambassador Antonov, We, the undersigned news organizations and nongovernmental press freedom organizations, write to express our deep concern regarding your government’s detention of journalist Evan Gershkovich and the unfounded espionage charges leveled against him. Gershkovich, who works…

EFJ and 50 NGOs call on the European Parliament to ensure a strong European Media Freedom Act

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), alongside 50 journalists, press freedom organisations, European trade unions, civil society and digital rights groups, is calling on the Members of the European Parliament to start their crucial work as co-legislators for a strengthened European Media Freedom Act. Captured media markets increasingly hinder media freedom and pluralism, the precondition of a stable democracy and the rule of law. We are calling on Members of the European Parliament to engage constructively in this vital debate to ensure that the EMFA becomes a strong, coherent regulation establishing harmonised legal safeguards across Europe. We sent them the following letter: Dear…

813 media freedom violations in 12 months – MFRR Monitoring Report 2022

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) publish the latest edition of their Monitoring Report, analysing the state of press and media freedom throughout EU Member States and candidate countries in 2022. The Monitoring Report – produced by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the International Press Institute (IPI), and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) as part of the MFRR – gathers and analyses all media freedom violations recorded on Mapping Media Freedom throughout the year 2022.  War in Ukraine The current monitoring report starts with a thematic chapter on the war in Ukraine…

EFJ publishes position on the European Media Freedom Act

​The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today publishes its position on the draft proposal for the  European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), which was adopted by its Steering Committee in Brussels on 13 January.   While we welcome the European Commission’s initiative to strengthen the free and pluralistic media system, and the commitment to protect journalists and editorial independence within the European Union, we stress the importance of a more robust protection of both media freedom and editorial independence.  In its position, the EFJ proposes urgent amendments which are crucial to be included by the co-legislators, the European Parliament and the European…