I was invited by the European Magazine Media Association to attend a conference about the evolution of media and threats to press freedom on 30 June in Wroclaw, Poland. Following the conference, I also held several informal meetings with other publishers in the media and engaged in dialogue on issues of common interests.
We share some common interests with publishers such as the increasing threats to press freedom while we have our differences such as collective bargaining. But we all face big challenges and it requires us to work together whenever possible. Such as the fight against violations on media freedom, making sure diversity and pluralism in media exist, and maintaining strong authorsâ€™ rights for journalists while publishers can still flourish.
It is no doubt that both journalists and publishers are under pressure. During the conference, I emphasised the need of more social dialogue, especially in Eastern Europe, in order to build a constructive relationship. If we can manage to unite on press freedom issues, we should be able to find ways for collective bargaining, authorsâ€™ rights and to invest in talent for the profession to flourish.
As parts of the EU- funded project â€œRights and Jobsâ€, we will focus on fostering social dialogue with publishers and social partners. This will be our focus for the rest of the year. Let's engage in dialogue and offer our social partners a chance to be parts of the solutions rather problems.
The EFJ join a campaign ''I am a journalist #Bengazeteciyim'' campaign launched by journalists and media freedom advocates from Turkey. European journalists stand in solidarity with their colleagues in Turkey who continue to do their job despite facing relentless attacks and attempts to silence them. The campaign also supports those journalists currently in jails because of their work. (Read more)
The EFJ joined a campaign launched by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to denounce Agence France Presse's (AFP) "unacceptable" contracts. AFP is demanding its photographic stringers across the globe, in offices outside of France, to sign contracts which include the full assignment of their authorsâ€™ rights without any additional remuneration. Take action now to protect workersâ€™ rightshttp://www.labourstart.org/go/afp #AFPWRONG (Read more)
A trouble spot for journalists
(19.07.2016) Turkey remains to be a trouble spot with the tragic death of a photojournalist Mustafa Cambazthis week during an attempted coup. Many civilians as well as journalists were recorded being attacked or injured. Following the coup, the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK, the State regulator) has shutdown 20 independent online news portals. It is expected that more censorship will be imposed throughout the country and journalists fear that they will be widely targeted by the government.
Despite the bad news, the Turkish Journalists' Association awarded the EFJ and otherinternational freedom of expression groups the Press Freedom Prize â€œfor the unique solidarity unparalleled in the past, it showed against the assaults on press freedom in Turkey, for its efforts to bring to international platforms the violation of rights and for instilling in their Turkish colleagues the feeling that they are not alone.â€
With the ongoing instability in the country, the EFJ will continue its commitment and work with its local affiliates to ensure the safety and freedom of journalists.
(06.07.2016) Whistleblowers protection was debated in Strasbourg during the plenary session of the European Parliament in view of the recent decision of the LuxLeak case and the revelation of Panama Papers. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from different political groups expressed the need to have an EU-wide legislation protecting whistleblowers, while the Commission expressed reluctance to legislate claiming that there is no firm legal basis to act. However, the EFJ and other civil society organisations have been arguing for an EU directive to protect whistleblowers. Last week, the EFJ met with MEPs Michal Boni, Benedek Javor and Lynn Boylan calling for more pressure to put on the Commission for action. (Read more)
(29.06.2016) Suspended jail sentences for whistleblowers (12 months and 1.500 EUR penalty for Antoine Deltour and 9 months and 1.000 EUR penalty for RaphaÃ«l Halet) and acquittal for the investigative journalist (Edouard Perrin), that's the verdict of Luxembourg court in the LuxLeaks case. Judges in Luxembourg delivered today a verdict in LuxLeaks case related to the prosecution of two whistleblowers and a journalist. (Read more)
You plan to create your own multimedia platform? You are a journalist committed to the inclusion of diversity in media? In the framework of its mentoring programme Div-A (Diversity Accelerator), the Council of Europe will help and fund ten individuals and/or teams from the Council of Europe countries to develop their ideas. (Read more)
Journalism in the Digital Age
(12.07.2016) Ricardo Gutierrez representing the EFJ participated at the Summer School for Journalists and Media Practitioners (â€œJournalism in the Digital Ageâ€) in Florence organised by the European University Institute (EUI), with the financial support of the European Commission. He delivered a speech and chaired a workshop on the sustainability of the profession and the new media business models. The session included presentations on media concentration and entrepreneurial journalism. Participants from 18 countries attended the EUI Summer School. Discussion with Elda Brogi and Iva Nenadic explored future cooperation between the EFJ and EUI.
(06.07.2016) A group of European Union journalists and editors have met their Russian counterparts in St Petersburg on Monday and Tuesday at a seminar entitled "The Role of Editorial Standards in Safeguarding Independent Journalism". The meeting was hosted by the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) with support from regional journalistic organisations and media outlets, in association with the EFJ. (Read more)
(01.07.2016) A coalition of journalists and press organisations, including the EFJ participated in the â€œ(R)EVOLUTION OF EUROPEâ€™S PRESSâ€ conference in the European Capital of Culture 2016 in Wroclaw, Poland. This event brought together a high level group of around 90 politicians, media experts, journalists, start-ups and technology experts to examine the state of press freedom in Europe through the political, market and technological lens. (Read more)
(01.07.2016) Anonymity of perpetrators, attacks across borders and a lack of police awareness and reaction are among the obstacles to properly tackle cyberbullying. The Council of Europeâ€™s conference on gender equality â€œAre we there yetâ€ held in Tallinn, Estonia was an occasion to hear from various experts on how best to tackle cyber-bullying alongside a range of other key topics, including better access to justice and leadership, stereotypes in the media, sexist hate speech and gender mainstreaming.(Read more)
(28.06.2016) European trade unionists and the European Commission have called for a new start for strong social dialogue following a conference with multi-stakeholders on ''Shaping the new world of work'' held by the European Trade Union Institution (ETUI) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in Brussels. The conference was kicked off by a panel of high-level speakers. (Read more)
The EFJ together with the Trade Union of Croatian Union will hold a final conference for the EU funded project 'â€˜Rights and Jobs in Journalismâ€™' in Zagreb, Croatia on 25 October, Tuesday. The final conference will bring together EFJ members and experts to highlight good practices identified during the four workshops and develop further strategies to reinforce the rights of journalistsâ€™ and capacity of unions. A handbook consisting of case studies and best practices examples from EFJ members will be launched at this occasion. Don't miss the event and register online now!