The EFJ joins media organisations to urge Israel to open access to Gaza

More than 60 media, journalists and civil society organizations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ),  have signed an open letter urging Israel to give journalists independent access to Gaza. The organizations – which include the EFJ, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post – point out that no independent media access to Gaza has been permitted since the start of the war, increasing the pressure on domestic journalists, and creating a space for mis- and disinformation to flourish. “More than 100 journalists have been killed since the start of the war and…

Greece: Who ordered Greek journalist’s murder?

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the undersigned members of the Media freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in welcoming the start of the trial, on 26 June, of two suspects accused of the 2021 killing of Greek investigative journalist, Giorgos Karaivaz. We also call on the authorities to redouble efforts to identify those who ordered his murder.  Giorgos Karaivaz was shot dead on 9 April 2021, near his home in Alimos, by professional hitmen who then escaped on a motorbike. The suspects were apprehended in April 2023, and have since been held in pretrial detention. The trial must conclude by…

Italy: Open letter from the MFRR to the President of the European Parliament and the President of the European Commission

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) coalition partners in expressing serious concerns about the alarming deterioration of media freedom in Italy. A letter has been sent to the President of the European Parliament, Ms Roberta Metsola, and the President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen. We are drawing attention to the findings of our urgent advocacy mission to Rome on 16-17 May.   Dear President of the European Parliament, Ms Roberta Metsola, Dear President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen,   We are writing to express our…

Serbia: Solidarity with the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation in their quest for justice

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) coalition partners in standing in solidarity with the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, which has unwaveringly campaigned against the continued impunity for the 1999 murder of Serbian journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. New legal action brought by two of the individuals acquitted of Ćuruvija’s murder now threatens to undermine the foundation’s campaign for justice. For over a decade, the Foundation has sought justice for Ćuruvija, an esteemed editor and publisher who was shot in front of his home in Belgrade in 1999. Twenty years later, four former state security officers were…

New appeal launched in Madrid for the release of journalist Pablo González

Just over a month ago, the annual meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) unanimously adopted a resolution demanding the immediate release of journalist Pablo González Yagüe, who has been held in Poland since February 28, 2022 on vague espionage charges. This Wednesday, the EFJ joins the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), their affiliates in Spain (FAPE, FeSP, FSC-CCOO, ELA, UGT) and other organizations defending journalists, in demonstrating outside the Polish consulate in Madrid, to once again call on the Polish authorities to put an end to the journalist’s interminable pre-trial detention. “It is not tolerable that a country…

Lithuania: Official letter to the authorities on the draft amendment to the Lithuanian Law on National Radio and Television

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ), together with the International Press Institute (IPI), have sent a letter to the Lithuanian authorities expressing concern about the draft amendment to the Lithuanian Law on National Radio and Television (LRT). The draft was submitted by Mindaugas Lingė, Member of Parliament, on 14 June 2024 as part of efforts to increase Lithuania’s defence spending. The draft, which threatens the public broadcaster’s funding model, was submitted without prior consultation with LRT. We urge the authorities to engage in an open and transparent discussion with LRT to ensure that any changes to the funding…

Slovakia: EFJ urges the President of the Republic to veto the public broadcasting bill

Slovakia’s parliament approved the government’s planned revamp and leadership change at public broadcaster RTVS on Thursday, overruling concerns the changes will bring RTVS under political control and harm media freedom and media pluralism. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) urges Peter Pellegrini, President of the Slovak Republic to veto the public broadcasting bill. Contrary to the European legal standards, including the newly adopted European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), the new Slovak legislation risks transforming public media into government propaganda outlets. Under the new law, RTVS’s director will be replaced years before his term expires. A nine-member supervisory council, appointed by…

Kosovo: EFJ and IFJ denounce political interference in the management of public broadcaster

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) join Council of Europe Platform on Safety of Journalists partners to express concerns over crisis within Kosovo’s Public Broadcaster RTK. The partner organisations urge the board of RTK to ensure that the public broadcaster continues to serve the public and not political interests. We sent the following letter to the board of RTK: Dear Chair of the RTK Board, Mr. Besnik Boletini, Dear members of the RTK Board, We are writing to you on behalf of the partners of the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety…

Local journalism needs more support than ever to defend democracy

Around 80 local journalists, journalists’ organisations, media researchers and experts from 19 EU countries gathered during the two-day Local Journalism Festival in Brno organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.  Opening the Festival, EFJ President Maja Sever stressed that “the beginning and end of good journalism that serves the public interest is strong and independent local journalism, and that connection with citizens and the community is the essence of our work.” “Local journalism is the backbone of independent journalism. Without it, we cannot safeguard our democracy. Journalists, their unions and associations, civil…

Russia: Journalist Artem Kriger jailed on charges of extremism

Russian journalist Artem Kriger, who works for independent media SOTAvision, was arrested on 18 June and placed in pre-trial detention, on charges of allegedly helping late opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), labelled as “extremist”. The International and the European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) condemn the repeated detention of critical journalists on similar charges and call on the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Artem Kriger and all journalists imprisoned in the country.   On 18 June, the Moscow Basmanny Court held a closed trial and placed Kriger in pre-trial detention until 18 August. The journalist challenged the decision…

France: Blast journalist detained for 32 hours for refusing to disclose confidential sources 

On 18 June 2024, a journalist working for the French independent news portal Blast was arbitrarily arrested by the police and detained for refusing to hand over her sources. She was released after thirty-two hours of detention. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its French affiliates the SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT-Journalistes in denouncing this blatant violation of the confidentiality of journalistic sources and arbitrary detention.  On 18 June 2024, protestors gathered outside of the headquarters of the company Exxelia, which is at the heart of a judicial investigation by the Paris court for complicity in war crimes, following a…

Ukraine: Two Russian journalists killed within three days in occupied Donetsk region

Two Russian journalists have been killed in separate incidents in Russia’s occupied Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Journalist of News.ru, Nikita Tsitsagi, died on 16 June, in a drone attack amidst ongoing battles. Earlier, Valery Kozhin, a cameraman of Russian state-controlled media NTV, also died after a shelling attack near Horlivka, on 13 June. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) strongly condemn these killings and urge the authorities to conduct a swift investigation into the deaths of the journalists. According to a report from News.ru, Tsitsagi lost his life while reporting in the town of Vugledar, which was…

Portugal: “Community media is especially needed in these times of great polarisation”

Mensagem de Lisboa is a community-focused media outlet based in the Chiado district in Lisbon, Portugal. Their mission is to disclose the small and human-interest stories in a big metropolis like Lisbon, an objective in line with the opportunity offered by the Local Media for Democracy (LM4D) funding scheme. “There are only a few projects that allow you to do what this project does: to work at the purely local level,” said Catarina Cavalho, editor and co-founder of Mensagem de Lisboa. “Community media is especially needed in these times of greater polarisation and distancing between communities.” They partnered with trusted…

Serbia: KRIK journalists facing SLAPPs after publishing the profile of Judge Dušanka Đorđević in database

The undersigned journalists and media freedom organisations condemn the legal actions filed by Judge Dušanka Đorđević and her husband against Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK), its editor-in-chief Stevan Dojčinović, and journalist Bojana Pavlović. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) coalition considers those legal actions as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), aiming at silencing KRIK for its investigative work. The SLAPPs are vexatious legal actions that are pursued as a means of harassing or intimidating journalists, media outlets, and other public watchdogs.  The lawsuits followed KRIK’s publication of Judge Dušanka Đorđević and her husband’s profile on the “Judge Who Judges”…

European Media Freedom Act (EMFA): What does it mean for journalists ?

The European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) entered into force on 7 May 2024. The new rules will fully apply at national level in each EU member state as of 8 August 2025. It has been said this is a historic act as the European Media Freedom Act, called “EMFA”  is the first European regulation dealing with all media. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with other media freedom groups, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and civil society organisations, has worked hard for over two years to get an ambitious act. A future-proof act against the growing attacks against journalism,…

European Commission study on journalist safety lacks solutions while security deteriorates

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the undersigned organizations in welcoming the recent study on the actions taken by Member States to implement the European Commission’s Recommendation on the protection and safety of journalists. However, our coalition finds that the report lacks a critical assessment of on-the-ground realities that reduce the effectiveness of initiatives that otherwise look good on paper. We stress therefore the need for more effective measures, and a deeper engagement with journalists and media freedom organizations, to build structures that can genuinely safeguard journalist safety in Europe. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) coalition reviewed the recently published…

Georgia: MFRR partners call for lifting ban on journalists’ access to Parliament

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in condemning the barring of journalists from reporting within the Parliament of Georgia. We urge the Parliament to reinstate the accreditation of all journalists including online media. Since the start of the debate on the foreign agent bill titled “Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence in Georgia,” journalists from online outlets have been barred from the Parliament. On 27 May 2024, Speaker of the Parliament Shalva Papuashvili signed a decree on “enhancing security levels,” indefinitely barring online media journalists and visitors from attending parliamentary sessions. Since…