Full support of European journalists to their colleagues in Belarus

The online Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), attended today by 53 delegates from journalists’ unions and associations from 38 European countries, expressed its full support for Belarusian journalists in the face of repression. In Belarus, during and after the 9 August presidential elections, the media, journalists and bloggers were the target of increased repression. As a result, the situation went from serious to catastrophic. While the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) recorded 23 violations of journalists’ rights from the beginning of the year until 8 May, i.e. before the election campaign was launched, it registered about…

EFJ joins IFJ #EndImpunity campaign

Monday 2 November is the UN International Day for the end of impunity for crimes against journalists. #EndImpunity. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the IFJ Campaign: End Impunity 2020, to demand governments put an end to impunity and to highlight and denounce crimes targeting journalists that remain unpunished while the masterminds walk free. This year, the IFJ is putting a specific emphasis on five countries, including Russia in Europe. Since 2005, 17 journalists have been killed in Russia. Six murders remain unsolved: Anna Politkovskaya: the most prominent case of impunity is the killing of Anna Politkovskaya from Novaya…

Germany: Unions urge government to support small media and freelancers in funding scheme for media

The German Association of Journalists (DJV) has called on the Federal Ministry of Economics to link the agreed press funding to certain conditions in order to countervail media concentration and preference of large media groups. In July, the German parliament decided to provide publishers with a funding of €220 million over several years, most probably starting in 2021. This support is primarily aimed at the digital transformation of the publishing industry. However, previously agreed support specifically for the delivery of daily newspapers will not be made available. This is in the context where publishers complain that the delivery of printed press…

22 Slovenian editors-in-chief speak out: “we will not succumb to pressure”

22 editors-in-chief of leading Slovenian media said on 28 October in an open letter intended “to the public” that they will stand against political interference as they face increasing pressure from the government. With this letter, the journalists denounced their difficulty to do their job in these challenging times caused by the pandemic and reaffirmed their commitment to the public. They describe a toxic working environment where weekly pressure from the authorities “place an additional burden and make quality journalistic work more difficult”. “Neither this crisis nor anything else may be used as a pretence for attempts to impose harmful…

Kosovo: new report shows how Covid-19 exacerbates existing problems for media workers

It appears to be a global trend that the Covid-19 outbreak has aggravated previously existing problems in the journalism industry and added another layer that concerns health measures for journalists. Kosovo is no exception as shown by a report called “The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the economic situation of journalists, cameramen and photojournalists” published on 27 October by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK). This research focuses on the consequences of Covid-19 on the economic situation for media workers, the difficulties in reporting and the lack of necessary protection equipment. The study was carried out during the period…

Nagorno Karabakh: Urgent concern on physical safety and restrictions faced by journalists covering the conflict

On 28 October, together with fellow partner organisations of the Council of Europe Platform, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) signed a statement of urgent concern regarding the risks to physical safety and undue restrictions faced by journalists covering the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. The statement reads as follows: We undersigned partner organisations of the Council of Europe Platform for the promotion of journalism and the safety of journalists express our urgent and deep concern about the ongoing risks of injury and harm to media workers reporting on the armed conflict inside Nagorno Karabakh. We are also concerned that arbitrary…

Takeaways from the Online Freelance Seminar on 22 October

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, freelance journalists across Europe have been greatly impacted with reduced paid work and often isolation. For the “Online Freelance Seminar: Equal Treatment for All”, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) gathered over 30 journalists’ representatives, freelance journalists and their organisers, EU policy-makers and experts to discuss such impacts on their working conditions and explore ways to support them. The seminar kicked off with a panel led by Oddrun Midtbø (Norwegian Union of Journalists, NJ) with Renske Heddema, (Dutch Journalists’ Association, NVJ), Charlotte Michils (Flemish Association of Journalists, VVJ) and Pablo Aiquel (French National…

Croatia: Media outlets disabled comments for two hours to counter increasing hate speech

The Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) just launched the #togetherwithouthate (#zajednobezmrznje) campaign. The objective is to warn against the destructive influence of hate speech online and offline journalists are facing because of their work, on the rise for many years. The campaign was launched on Friday 23 October with a call on media outlets to disable the possibility to comment on their websites and social media, for two hours, from 11am to 1pm. Major Croatian media outlets took part in the action, including Jutarnji list, Slobodna Dalmacija, 24sata, Večernji list, Novi list, Glas…

EFJ and IFJ call on the US government to drop plans to shorten visa length for journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and 21 other organisations from across the globe to submit a statement to the US government in response to proposed changes to the I visa program that will impact on foreign journalists. “To be clear, by these restrictions on the validity of visas, the Trump administration wants to make it much harder and more expensive for foreign journalists to work in the United States,” said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “This is why, together with the IFJ and 22 global organisations,…