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EU Digital Services Act: journalistic content must be protected from interference by online platforms

Updated (03/12/2021) The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the proposed EU Digital Services Act as a long overdue and crucial tool to create a safer, fairer and more accountable online environment. The journalists’ community believes that the DSA must be stronger in order to guarantee a digital media ecosystem based on trust and audience engagement, in particular in the fight against disinformation. Today the platforms determine who sees when and what – based on their content recommendation systems, algorithms and terms and conditions. The power of the big platforms and gatekeepers has contributed to the market failure we face…

EU Rule of Law report: Little bark, no bite

On 20 July, the European Commission published the 2021 Rule of Law Report. The document, which is the outcome of months of painstaking work, can be a valuable tool that empowers civil society, the EU institutions and Member State governments who care about the rule of law in the Union. The Report, comprised of a Communication that covers EU-wide developments and country chapters for each Member State, is designed “as a yearly cycle to promote the rule of law and to prevent problems from emerging or deepening and to address them … It seeks to strengthen the rule of law in…

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…

EFJ welcomes EU Democracy Action Plan but calls for stronger regulation of tech giants

Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission, presented today the European Democracy Action Plan to empower citizens and build more resilient democracies across the EU. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the Action Plan and its concrete provisions to strengthen media freedom and pluralism, but calls for stronger regulation of Tech Giants, while protecting freedom of expression. The Action Plan sets out measures to strengthen media freedom and counter disinformation in the European Union. More concretely, the Commission will recommend measures to promote safety of journalists and present an initiative to protect them from strategic lawsuits against public participation…

SLAPPs: EU should protect journalists against vexatious lawsuits

More and more journalists and civil society organisations are being sued by powerful businessmen and politicians via strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined a coalition of 87 organisations calling on the EU to ensure those with a watchdog role are protected from such gag lawsuits. The English version of the following Op-ed was published on EURACTIV on 16 November 2020. The full list of signatories is to be found at the bottom. One hot spring afternoon in Malta, a journalist drove up to her house to find a court marshall duct-taping hundreds of sheets…

Media and journalists request journalists’ exemption in draft terrorist content online regulation

The latest compromise of the German Presidency on the draft regulation on the proposal for a regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online raises great concerns regarding media freedom and fundamental rights among media and journalists’ organisations. The draft is currently in tripartite discussions between the Council of Ministers under the German Presidency, the European Parliament and the EU Commission with the aim to come to a final adopted text before the end of this year.  In the view of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and media organisations including the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), European Magazine Media Association…