Tuesday 26th March 2019 was a landmark day! Nearly three years after it was first proposed, the European Parliament adopted the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. This long-awaited piece of legislation forces online platforms to take the necessary measures to respect authors’ rights, creating for publishers and journalists a right to share the revenue generated by platforms for the online use of their publications and introducing the principle of proportionate remuneration for all authors for the exploitation of their works.
Joining forces with other authors’ organisations from the creative sector, the European and International Federations of Journalists led a strong joint-campaign to obtain the best possible text. Though it is not perfect, we have achieved some significant results.
The directive stresses that authors must be remunerated proportionately and appropriately. This is extremely important for the negotiations to come at the national level. It also includes the right to be represented by unions, the obligation for publishers to inform journalists about the use made of their work and the possibility to challenge contracts when they turn out being unfair.
Regarding the new publishers’ rights, the EFJ managed to have an agreement with the European publishers’ associations ensuring that journalists must be fairly remunerated from the revenues deriving from these new rights. On the morning before the vote in Strasbourg, I stressed the necessity for the journalists and the publishers to work together to hold tech giants accountable.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. A transposition guide will be produced in order to help the affiliates be part of the negotiations during the transposition process in the member States. Chapter 2 begins now!
On 26 May, European citizens will elect their Members of the European Parliament (MEP). During the campaign, the EFJ has launched its Manifesto calling on all candidate MEPs to commit for the revival of a free and pluralistic media in Europe, so urgent in times of disinformation and losing trust in EU institutions. Over 15,000 MEP candidates are called to endorse the EFJ Manifesto by committing themselves to the following eight principles: Media pluralism, Financial sustainability and the future of journalism, Investigative journalism, Collective bargaining and social protection for all workers, Trust and accountability through ethical journalism, Authors’ rights – fair contracts for all, Strong independent public service media, Safety at work : no to impunity.
(26.03.2019) The European Parliament on 26th March adopted the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market by 348 votes in favor and 274 against. Reacting to the vote, the IFJ/EFJ hailed the milestone piece of legislation and immediately urged EU Member States to adopt strong transposition laws that ensure fair and proportionate remuneration for journalists. The provisional version of the final text is available here. The directive must now be approved by the European Council before its publication and the start of the transposition process.
The legislation includes key provisions for the publishing industry and authors, including a share of the revenue tech giants generate online using their works (Article 11), the principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors against the cession of their exclusive rights (Art -14), transparency obligations on the industry (Art 14) and the possibility for authors to be represented by their unions in contractual adjustments and disputes (Art.15 and 16).
Throughout the negotiations our affiliates warned against provisions in the proposals that water down authors’ rights, including lump sums and buy-out contracts, in particular restrictions to journalists’ remuneration deriving from the new neighboring right for press publications as a result of the wording ofRecital 35(#59 in the provisional agreement). The IFJ/EFJ have called on the European Commission and European publishers to clarify that journalists’ share under Article 11 is distinct from salary and that Recital 35 will not be used to deprive or restrict their access to a fair share of the revenue deriving from the neighboring right.
These calls and an amendment tabled to redress the shortfalls of this provision send a strong signal that journalists, who were pivotal in the adoption of the copyright directive, deserve a fair remuneration across the EU and will object collectively to provisions which undermine their rights. The federations will now work to develop joint advice/briefings for affiliates to support them in campaigning for protective transposition laws and the strongest possible collective agreements in the context of this directive.
(11.03.2019) The European Parliament, the Commission and the Council of the EU reached a political agreement in March on the directive on the protection of whistleblowers. The EFJ welcomed the significative improvements compared to the directive proposal, but regretted the intent of limiting protection for those reporting to the public, in particular through the media. The text will now be put to the vote mid-April in the European Parliament. After adoption, the EFJ will work closely with the European Trade Union Confederation to put together a guide for transposition to push Member States to provide more protection to whistleblowers reporting publicly.
(16.03.19) A group of around 100 anti-government protesters stormed the building of the Serbian national broadcaster RTS in Belgrade, demanding to be allowed to make a public address live on air. Protesters, who wanted to voice their opposition to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, had to be evacuated from the RTS building after about 50 riot police were deployed to the premises. Despite of the tension, no one was hurt in the incident. The EFJ and IFJ submitted an alert to the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism.
(29.03.2019) The situation of Serbian media is becoming increasingly difficult. N1, a cable, regional news channel is facing a targeted campaign of pressures and threats by state officials. N1 management stated that the government’s objective is to “compromise and intimidate N1 by labelling it as an anti-Serb TV”. They also claim the campaign, which began in early 2014, has grown since N1 started to report on the current anti-government protests in the country. EFJ and IFJ jointly urged the authorities to stop targeting and labelling media.
(10.03.19) Pressure against foreign media outlets has been growing in Turkey.Following the decision of the Turkish authorities to compel two German journalists to leave Turkey after their press accreditations were not renewed for 2019, without any explanation, the EFJ together with 17 international organisations called on Turkish authorities to respect foreign media outlets independence.
(14.03.2019) The Legal Committee of the German Parliament has approved substantial amendments in favour of press freedom to a draft law intended to transpose the EU Directive on the protection of trade secrets into national law. This decision was preceded by months of wrangling over whether journalistic work was generally exempt from the provisions of the law in the event of unlawful exchange of business secrets, or whether journalists had to justify their work to the prosecution authorities. Both the DJV and dju.in.verdi welcomed this success.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
EFJ calls on Council of Europe States to better protect journalists
(28.03.19) The EFJ General Secretary participated in an exchange of views with the ambassadors of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, on behalf of the partners of the CoE Platform for the Protection of Journalism. Ricardo Gutiérrez called on States to intensify their actions to protect journalists, highlighting positive examples from the Netherlands, with the national contract for the safety of journalists, co-signed by our affiliate NVJ, and from Sweden, with the recent national action plan "Defending Free Speech". The EFJ also called on the Council of Europe to maintain press freedom as one of the organisation's top priorities.
(25.02.2019) The new DEG report “Digital Journalism & New Business Models”, published in February, underpins the trends in new business models for the digital newsroom. From the British Guardian to the pioneering French Mediapart, from Sweden to Spain, the author Andreas Bittner showcases new funding models and discusses the role of journalists’ organisations in these changing times. Download the full report here.
(24.02.19) Twenty-five trade union representatives from 20 European countries attended a two-day training organised by the EFJ and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), hosted by the Spanish union CCOO, in Barcelona.
Participants – whether they are current, future or potential union leaders – were asked to reflect on how to build and lead a more inclusive and diverse journalists’ trade union. A follow-up training will take place in Automn 2019.
(11.03.19) Around 40 journalists and journalists’ representatives from 24 European countries attended the workshop on “Modernising public service media (PSM) through innovation and dialogue”, organised by the EFJ and the Romanian trade union FAIR-MediaSind. Panelists and participants discussed the challenge for innovation and digitalisation, editorial independence, diversity in PSM newsrooms, trainings and how to defend public service media more and more under attack. Summary and speakers' presentations can be found here.
Apply for the next workshop "Increasing diversity and gender equality in the workplace"
We invite you to attend the next workshop “Increasing diversity and gender equality in the workplace” to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, on the 28th and 29th of May 2019.
The challenge of diversity and equality between women and men is now a pressing issue that both newsrooms and unions have to tackle simultaneously. The workshop will bring together journalists, trade unions and social partners to address gender pay gap as well as imbalance in the representation of women, LGBT and ethnic minorities in the news. It will also showcase best practices on equality policies in the media and unions in Europe. The growing problem of violence and sexual harassment - both online and offline – female journalists are facing will also be on the agenda. Don't miss the deadline and register before 26th April 2019 here!
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? Apply to the EFJ Expert Exchange Visit programme (EEV) and recruit an expert from the EFJ membership to visit your organisation for a training, workshop or simply a talk 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 costs 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 this link: https://nl.surveymonkey.com/r/VB6R8R8
EFJ General Meeting 2019
Time to register!
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. You are required to confirm your participation as delegate or observer by sending an e-mail to Caroline Hubert (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible!