Wednesday, 7 January 2015 is the darkest day in journalism in Europe. The brutal attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris was an attack on all of us. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, friends and colleagues. It is hard to believe that such a horror could happen in Europe.
The attack confirms that we must continue to safeguard and defend freedom of expression and press freedom as the fundamental pillars of our democracy.
During the â€œfreedom marchâ€ on Sunday 11 January, we were surprised to see high-level officials from both Turkey and Russia where journalists are seen as enemies of the state and put behind bars. Among those world leaders who participated in the march on Sunday, they should learn the lesson from this tragic event and re-think their policy on anti-terrorism. Civil society and international institutions like the UNESCO, Council of Europe and the European Union should pressure these world leaders to safeguard press freedom in their own countries. (read the full editorial)
Mogens Blicher BjerregÃ¥rd EFJ President
EFJ Annual Meeting 2015 in Montenegro
The EFJ Annual Meeting will be held in Budva, Montenegro by its affiliate, the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (TUMM), on 2 June 2016. More information will be sent to affiliates in the coming weeks. Save the date!
Macedonia: Free Tomislav Kezarovski
(20.01.2015) Around 3,000 demonstrators gathered in Skopje to denounce the two year jail sentence that the Macedonian Court had given to investigative journalist Tomislav Kezarovski.
Kezarovski, an investigative journalist at the daily Nova Makedonija, has been in detention and then under house arrest since 28 May 2013 for an article he wrote in 2008 for Reporter 92 magazine
The EFJ and its affiliates in Macedonia (SSNM and ZNM) have denounced the verdict and called on the authority to release Kezarovski immediately.
What can you do to help free Kezarovski ?
You can help free Kezarovski by putting pressure on the Macedonian government. Send a petition letter to the Embassy of Macedonia in your country calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
Publicise Kezarovskiâ€™s case in your union magazines and encourage your member to do so in their publications to raise awareness and gather support.
(Picture credit: Robert Atanasovski)
MEDIA PLURALISM Tips and tricks for journalists to evade surveillance
(22.01.2015) Journalists face an increasing challenge to secure their communications in a digital world. The protection of confidential source can be easily compromised in a world where surveillance is becoming ubiquitous. Can journalists secure their communications and protect their sources?
To address the issue, the EFJ and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) has organised a four-day workship starting from 19 to 21 January in Brussels on â€œCyber security for journalistsâ€. Run by digital security expert, Dmitri Vitaliev, twenty-one journalists and union officers are given a hand-on approach to protect their communications in a fast-pace digital newsroom. Journalists were also taught how to bypass internet censorship and secure their online communications.
(25.01.2015) The application of the â€œMedia Pluralism Monitor 2014â€³, developped by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the Florence European University Institute, demonstrates that there are various risks for media pluralism across nine selected countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and the United Kingdom). The results of the study are clear: â€œEvery country has a specific weakness that creates high scores, meaning high riskâ€. Read the full report HERE.
EFJ told EU Enlargement Commissioner â€œMedia censorship is a reality in Serbiaâ€
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly warns over Europeâ€™s press freedom
(29.01.2015) The EFJ welcomed the adoption of a report on the Protection of Media Freedom in Europe by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) but warns about the worrying trends on press freedom in Europe.
The two-hour debate before the formal adoption was the occasion for many of the 300 voting members of the PACE to make their comments and remarks. Discussion concerned in particular Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Hungary, where cases of press freedom violation were debated and even challenged by various speakers. The discussion concluded that press freedom is yet to be made reality in many countries represented at the PACE. You can read more on our website on the interview with the rapporteur of the report Mr. Gvozden SreÄ‡ko Flego.
(Picture credit:Marc Gruber / EFJ)
Parliament condemns Turkish repressive measures against journalists
EU lobby register: still failing to deliver real transparency
(27.01.2015) A new research published shows that too many major lobby organisations are not listed in the lobby transparency register despite being active in EU lobbying.
The research by ALTER-EU, the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation, (in which the European Federation of Journalists is a member) argues that the current voluntary approach to lobby regulation does not give an accurate picture of lobbying in Brussels, and the Commissionâ€™s proposal for an inter-institutional agreement will not be the solution as it will not be binding on lobbyists. (Read more)
TTIP: EFJ complains to the EU Ombudsman
(20.01.2015) The EFJ, ClientEarth, the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, and the Corporate Europe Observatory jointly submitted a complaint to the EU Ombudsman regarding maladministration by the European Commission in relation to access to documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This complaint relates specifically to the failure by the European Commission to grant access to the Complainants to a number of TTIP-related documents. Read the full-text of our complaint HERE.
(Picture credit: Thierry Charlier / AFP)
Kati Piri: â€œThe biggest threat to journalism comes from those in powerâ€
(29.01.2015) The EFJ attended the conference â€œJe suis Charlie-Media Freedom in the EU and South Eastern Europeâ€ at the European Parliament. Hosted by Ulrike LUNACEK, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Green Party, in cooperation with the Italian based Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso (OBC) the meeting discussed threats on media freedom and highlighted that powerful figures and politicians pose the biggest threats to independent journalism. (Read more)
(Picture credit: EFJ)
RUSSIA Journalist Sergei Reznik sentenced to three years for defamation
(22.01.2015) The EFJ outraged by the ruling by the Russian court to sentence journalist and blogger Sergei Reznik to prison for an addition of three years. Reznik was found guilty of false accusation and insulting public officials (the police and the local deputy prosecutor). On 26 November 2013, Sergei Reznic was sentenced to 18 months of prison. Having served his first sentence, he was banned for working as a journalist for a year. Sergei Reznik is well known for his journalistic investigations about the activities of the Rostov Governor Vasily Golubev and local law enforcement agencies. The IFJ, the EFJ and the RUJ strongly denounce the conviction of Sergei Reznik. (Read more)
on 29 - 30 January, Barry White, member of EFJ Steering Committee attended the trial against journalists Can DÃ¼ndar (Cumhuriyet), Utku Ã‡akirÃ¶zer (Cumhuriyet), Hakan GÃ¼lseven (Yurt) and Nazli Ilicak (BugÃ¼n) and to showed solidarity with the journalists.
EU copyright reform needs to address fairness in creative sector
(07.01.2015) The EFJ President, Mogens Blicher BjerregÃ¥rd, told EU policy-makers to address the unfair contractual practices in the media and creative sectors in a meeting organised by the European Parliament working group on intellectual property rights and copyright reform in Strasburg.
Addressing members of the working group, Blicher BjerregÃ¥rd says, â€œThe biggest challenge facing journalists today is the unfair contractual practices that deprived the right of journalists from receiving fair payment for their work. (Read the full speech)
â€œMainstream media must not spread hate speechâ€ (19.01.2015) After Charlie: against terror, journalists must redouble their commitment(22.01.2015) Charlie Hebdo: Free speech under attack (15.01.2015)
#JESUISCHARLIE: To Publish or Not To Publish, That is the Question (15.01.2015)
Charlie Hebdo Solidarity : Call for Donation (13.01.2015)
Freedom march requires an urgent political response (13.01.2015)
#JeSuisCharlie photos, videos and tributes: journalists stand in solidarity (08.01.2015)
Charlie Hebdo in Paris, IFJ and EFJ in Solidarity with French Journalists (08.01.2015)