EFJ calls on Croatian public broadcaster HRT to withdraw claims targeting journalists
(06.02.19) The EFJ GS Ricardo Gutiérrez attended in Zagreb a round-table discussion organised by the Croatian Journalists Association (CJA) on the judicial intimidation targeting journalists and on the lack of independence of Croatian public broadcaster HRT. The management of HRT has launched 33 lawsuits against journalists, including the president of CJA, Hrvoje Zovko, and the president of the CJA Branch at HRT, Sanja Mikleušević Pavić. The EFJ GS called on HRT management to withdraw these recently filed lawsuits. The EFJ will raise the issue of HRT judicial intimidation at the next social dialogue meeting of the EU Audiovisual sector.
Over 450 photojournalists on strike for payrise to living standards
(25.01.19) There were no picture in the Netherlands' newspapers on 25 January, due to the strike of over 450 photojournalists of the Dutch union of journalists (NVJ/NVF). They demanded decent rates for their work, respect for their authors’ rights and that online and printed tariffs match. A national monitor of freelance photo rates shows they fell from €80 a photo in 2014 to an average rate today of €42 with some rates falling as low as €15 to €20 for a picture. The NVJ/NVF called for a 14% increase in rates in order to keep up with inflation since 2010; online tariffs made equal to print ones; and a respect for their creators’ rights (copyright). Several EFJ unions and the EFJ Freelance Expert Group expressed their support for the Dutch colleagues.
(15.01.19) Freelance investigative reporter Jovo Martinovic was sentenced to 18 months in jail on bogus charges of drug trafficking as a potential retaliation for his investigative work on war crimes and corruption in the Balkans. Martinovic always claimed his innocence and reported having received offers and threats to sign a false confession. Read the letter co-signed by EFJ and other press freedom organisations demanding his acquittal.
(15.01.19) In the current climate, where trust in mass media is declining, we need all the help we can get in dealing with the rise of hate speech against journalists. The Union of Journalists in Finland (UJF) published an advice kit for journalists who are subject to online hate speech, also dedicated to colleagues and supervisors. The initiative is the result of the noticeable increase in hate speech and online abuse targeted at journalists. Download it here (in PDF).
TGS briefed the European Parliament on the situation in Turkey
(28-30.01.19) Gökhan Durmus, President of the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) shared the union perpective at the European Parliament during a session on "the myth of domestic legal remedy for journalists in Turkey" organised by MEP Rebecca Harms and IPI. The EFJ-IFJ also hosted a separate session on upcoming advocacy opportunities to defend press freedom and workers rights. TGS President had the opportunity to address the main issues regarding the lack of press freedom (detention, prosecutions, self-censorship, lack of funding, lack of independent coverage,...) and the growing unemployment rate inside the profession. He also briefed the partners about the implementation of the ongoing EU-funded project called #journalismisnotacrime.
MAPPING MEDIA FREEDOM
Report: investigative journalists have been targeted
283 times since 2014
Mapping Media Freedom’s latest report, managed by Index on Censorship, in partnership with the EFJ, monitors the threats, violations and limitations faced by investigative reporters in 43 countries — throughout European Union member states, candidates for entry and neighbouring countries. The report underpins a significant rise in attacks between 2014 and 2018. Reported attacks on media freedom rose from as low as 38 in 2014 to an all-time high 75 in 2018. No less than 206 investigative journalists in the 35 countries that are in or affiliated with the European Union (EU35) were being targeted. But most importantly, Europe has seen 3 reporters killed for doing investigative work. Investigative journalists are facing two major issues: firstly, the increased number of attacks on reporters investigating corruption and secondly, the impunity from prosecution their attackers enjoy. The MMF underlines not only an increase in media concentration across EU35, notably in Hungary but also an increased number of media under the thumb of political parties.
UNESCO: LAREG+ is about to launch the charter of Belgrade
on journalists' working conditions
(11-12.02.19) Following the Labour Right Expert Group meeting, including representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, the EFJ will launch on Tuesday 12 February the Charter of Belgrade on journalists' working conditions, during a press conference in the capital of Serbia. The charter is the first of its kind in Europe. It is a non-binding guideline with 10 articles condensing the main principles affecting the working relationship between journalists, their employers and the public opinion. It is open for signature to all journalists organisations, private and public media companies which would like to endorse the principles. It aims to become a benchmark on working conditions for journalists in their assessment exercises on media freedom in member and candidate countries.
Stay tuned on Tuesday!
The AGEMI (Advancing Gender Equality in Media Industries) project will launch its webplatform on 26 February at the Press Club in Brussels. On this platform you will find a range of useful resources focused on aspects of gender equality, including a large Resources Bank of Good Practices and learning resources which include mini-lectures and filmed interviews with media practitioners on topics such as representation, culture, policy, advocacy and leadership. See the agenda and register here.
Bucharest: Workshop on "Modernising public service media through innovation and dialogue"
The next workshop of the 'Managing change in the media' project will have the following theme “Modernising public service media through innovation and dialogue” and will take place in Bucharest, Romania, on the 4th and 5th of March 2019. The workshop will bring together journalists, trade unions and social partners (public broadcasters) to address recent challenges and develop strategies to ensure quality and independence in public service media, such as innovation, life-long training, diversity, editorial independence. Find the draft agenda here.
Managing change in the media
Apply now for an Expert Exchange Visit!
Are you in need of an expert to renew your organisation's organising and recruitment policy, or good practices ideas for serving freelance members, or an expert on collective bargaining? Now with the EFJ Expert Exchange Visit programme (EEV), you can recruit an expert from the EFJ membership, whether they are experts in collective bargaining, legal aspect, recruitment, or labour rights, to visit your organisation for a training, workshop or simply to talk to your staff or board members to exchange good practices. The aim of the EEV is to provide coaching specific to the need of a particular union or association within a particular national context. What do we cover?
The EFJ will pay for the travel cost of one expert to visit your organisation and cover two-night accommodation. The EEV is funded under the project "Managing Change in the Media" funded by the European Commission (DG Employment). Register at the link below: https://nl.surveymonkey.com/r/VB6R8R8
Following unprecedented lobbying on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM), and long EU tripartite negotiations, the Romanian EU Presidency made a series of proposals in a bid to reach consensus.The proposals however, aim to restrict and even obliterate journalists’ remuneration. In a joint statement published on 8 February the IFJ and EFJ called on EU Institutions to reject these provisions and proposals, which discriminate against journalists and make their remuneration conditional on “contractual arrangements” and “Member States’ laws on ownership of rights in the context of employment contracts”, thereby offering them a proportionate or appropriate share of nothing. Read the full statement here.
Whistleblowers directive enters final round of negotiations
The directive on the protection of whistleblowers will be intensively discussed during the month of February as the end of the trilogue between the three European institutions is foreseen for the 4th of March. The EFJ continues to maintain the pressure by lobbying the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States. We invite all affiliates to sign this petition. The Federation is also promoting its position in public event as much as possible. The EFJ met with Members of all political parties of the German Bundestag during a sub-committee meeting in the European Parliament on 6 February.
In 2015, 110 interviews to media professionals from South East Europe were carried out to identify the needs of journalists under threat. The report “Building a safety net for European Journalists” detected four pressing needs:
1) physical safety; 2) management of the threat;
3) solidarity and psychological support; 4) legal and financial assistance. Specific protection mechanisms are required to allow journalists to feel safe and supported. This special dossier investigates whether and where such tools and facilities are available with the two-fold goal to provide a handy reference for journalists in Europe and to highlight neglected areas of intervention.
Following the unanimous decision of the members of the EFJ Steering Committee, the 2019 General Meeting (GM) will be hosted by our Estonian affiliate, the Estonian Union of Journalists (Eesti Ajakirjanike Liit - EAL), on 9 and 10 May 2019, in Tallinn. Around 100 delegates and guests from across Europe will be attending the meeting. Please save the dates and we look forward to seeing you in Tallinn!