EFJ calls for an ambitious European Media Freedom Act

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in welcoming the idea of a European Media Freedom Act, advanced by European Commissioners Thierry Breton and Věra Jourová.  In recent years, we have witnessed the staggering politicisation of the media in a small but growing number of member states where governments have abused regulatory, economic and legislative powers to punish critical media, increase control over public service media and promote government cheerleaders controlled directly or indirectly through party loyalists.  Besides more assertive use of the means already at the disposal of the EU institutions, we…

Our submission for the European Commission Recommendations on the Safety of Journalists

Following the European News Media Forum, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), drafted a submission to the European Commission as part of their proposed Recommendations on the Safety of Journalists. The EFJ contributed to the MFRR submission (see PDF below) providing information and recommendations to the European Commission concerning the safety of journalists and media workers. This will feed into a recommendation to the Member States announced in the European Democracy Action Plan, which will seek to ensure better and targeted implementation of a number of requirements set out in the Council of…

Luxembourg Journalists’ Association launched campaign for improved access to information

On 19 April, the Luxembourg Association of Professional Journalists (ALJP) kicked off a new campaignfor improved access to information and transparency. Supported by ten partner organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), ALJP advocates for an additional article to the press law that would oblige the authorities to provide information to the media within a specific timeframe. The one-year campaign, titled “Access to information now!”, will include numerous activities and actions on social media, a dedicated webpage on the ALJP website, protests, conferences and a collaborative information campaign. On 3 May, ALJP will mark International Press Freedom Day with a…

Croatia: 924 active lawsuits against journalists and media outlets

New survey carried out by the Croatian journalists’ association (HND) shows an increase in lawsuits targeting journalists and media outlets in Croatia compared to last year. According to HND survey, at least 924 lawsuits were initiated against journalists and media outlets in Croatia, in which plaintiffs are claiming almost 10.5 million euros. Among them, 892 are civil lawsuits for alleged violations of honour and reputation against publishers, editors and journalists for publishing texts and articles. The other 32 are criminal lawsuits. Plaintiffs are individuals, public and political figures, as well as legal entities, politicians in power and judges. The Hanza…

We demand justice for Lyra McKee and safety for Northern Ireland journalists

Sunday 18 April 2021 marks two years since Lyra McKee was shot dead while reporting on riots in Derry. Still no one has been convicted of her murder. As we honour Lyra McKee and reiterate our call for justice, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in expressing our grave concern over the recent increase in attacks and threats to journalists and media workers in Northern Ireland. A talented and courageous investigative journalist, McKee, in her writing on the consequences of the Troubles for a host of domestic and international outlets, tackled issues…

Slovenia: Delo Journalist threatened by State Secretary for National Security

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined Slovenian journalists and journalists’ unions in condemning the new threat against Delo’s Brussels correspondent Peter Žerjavič on Twitter.  The Slovenian government is known to publicly attack and discredit critical journalists and media outlets. The latest in date occurred on 8 April 2021 on Twitter. The Slovenian State Secretary for National Security, Žan Mahnič, threatened Delo’s Brussels correspondent Peter Žerjavič after he had posted a tweet criticising Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša‘s attack on the German national television ARD. Commenting under Žerjavič’ criticism, Mahnič said: “Who in the EU cares what some irrelevant ARD thinks.…

Macedonian court refuses to recognise journalist’s status

On 27 April 2017, during protest in Skopje, which later resulted in the storming of the Parliament building by nationalist demonstrators, a total of 21 journalists were threatened or barred from reporting at the scene. One of them, Goran Trpenovski, was dismissed yesterday by the Civil Court in Skopje, which did not recognise his status as a journalist. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliate AJM/ZNM challenge the interpretation of the Macedonian court and call on it to review its decision. Goran Trpenovski covered the events of 27 April 2017 for the online media Sakamdakazham (sdk.mk). He was…

EFJ and IFJ call for the immediate release of journalist Vladislav Yesypenko

Freelance journalist Vladislav Yesypenko has told a court he was tortured and forced to confess after he was arrested in March by the Federal Security Service (FSB) officers in Crimea on fabricated charges. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call for his immediate release and the withdrawal of all charges against him. Vladislav Yesypenko’s lawyer, Aleksei Ladin, said his client testified during a closed-door hearing on 6 April that he was tortured and threatened with death: “They tortured him with electric shocks and by beating his legs, his genital area, his body. They beat him to obtain confessions and forced him to incriminate…

Belarus: Authorities ban Euronews

Belarussian authorities have banned pan-European news media Euronews from broadcasting in the country, alleging it violated legislation by running advertisements in English. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join the Belarussian Association of Journalists (BAJ) in condemning this new attack on freedom of information and act of censorship by the Belarussian government. The Belarussian media regulator said in a statement that it had removed Euronews from the list of international media which can operate in the country and announced it would be replaced by Russian programming. The authorities said they did not renew Euronews’ license, which expired on 12 April, because they did not…

EFJ Webinar: Countering political interference in the media

On 19 and 20 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will be hosting a series of two webinars as part of the project “Building independent media to counter political interference” funded by Open Society Foundations. With a great line-up of members of the European Parliament dealing with media freedom, the European Commission, the Center for Media Pluralism and Freedom, the OSCE and experts like Dr. Vaclav Stetka and Elda Brogi as well as journalists’ organisation leaders speaking from their field experience and showcasing campaigns and resilience, these two mid-day webinars, free and open to all upon registration, shall allow…