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17 April 2015

Online platform to protect journalism and promote safety of journalists

Following months of preparation and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on 4 December 2014 with the EFJ and other media partners, the Council of Europe (CoE) has officially launched today an online platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.

The EFJ encourages affiliates to report to us immediately whenever there is any media violation. This will help put pressure on member states which violate media freedom to act in accordance with international standards on media freedom.

If you or your fellow journalists experience any of the following threats and violations, please report it to us immediately at

  • Attacks on physical integrity of journalists
Killings, violence, threats or other attacks to the physical integrity of journalists, their family members and other media actors, bloggers, writers, human rights defenders communicating in the public interest.
  • Harassment of journalists
Harassment of journalists and other media institutions or actors, threats to journalists’ privacy, attack to property, loss of employment, psychological abuse, bullying/cyberbullying.
  • Impunity
Impunity in the abovementioned cases, failures to investigate and prosecute crimes against journalists and other media actors.
  • Threats to journalists' sources
Alleged threats to the confidentiality of journalists’ sources or their physical integrity and security because of their collaboration with journalists, media or human rights defenders or organisations.
  • Acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Acts having chilling effects on media freedom including judicial and political intimidation and legal framework limiting media freedom:
a.     Judicial intimidation (opportunistic or abusive use of defamation, anti-terrorism laws, national security, hooliganism or anti-extremism laws)
b.    Political intimidation (including hate speech)
c.     Legal framework limiting media freedom
  •  Other
Abusive or unjustified blocking of media-related websites or social media platforms, censorship, hacking, etc.

How to revive unions and make them trendy?

(22.03.2015) “Young journalists see trade unions as something from the 70’s, they consider the unions as old-fashioned, not appealing, an occupational organisation for the retired people and totally living with nostalgic ideas.They don’t see the unions as organisations of the 21st century,” Mustafa Kuleli told the EFJ what his members think of the Turkish Trade Union of Journalists (TGS) and how he took these comments on board to start reforming the union.

Since last year, the TGS experienced 25% growth in membership. According to the TGS members, the main reasons they join the unions are:
  1. Better protection against employers, get protection for wages
  2. Ability to sign collective agreements in order to get better paid and access to benefits at workplace
  3. Better working conditions and more safety and dignity at work
  4. Freelance journalists can get International Press Card through professional recognition
  5. Get access to training opportunities on new media in Turkey and abroad
  6. Legal support provided by the union in case of labour or press freedom issues
  7. Ethical and professional support to the members in order to maintain journalism standards
  8. Solidarity is important among journalists and media workers in Turkey and globally.
The EFJ considers recruitment as one of its important strategies to improve the capacity of unions. To address this issue and share best practices among unions, the EFJ will organise a workshop on “Let's organise, invest in youth and skills” as parts of the two-year capacity building project funded by the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion).

 EFJ workshop 
Let's organise, invest in youth and skills

The EFJ and the Danish Journalists' Union (DJ) will organise a capacity building workshop to exchange best practices in recruitment, reaching out to young members and developing new services for journalists.

This is the first in a series of four capacity building workshop developed by the EFJ for its affiliates in the next two years. It is funded by the European Commission (DG Employment).

For more information about the workshop, please visit our website or contact Yuk Lan Wong.

Reaching out to atypical workers

A workshiop on “Access to social rights for atypical workers and  servicing atypical workers will be organised on 20 May in Amsterdam as a joint project activity launched together by the EFJ and the International Federation of Actors (FIA), the International Federation of Musicians and UNI-MEI.

The workshop will inivite representatives of the four federations representing journalists, actors, performers, musicians and media workers and discuss ways for unions to defend the social rights of workers and to develop news services to fulfill their needs in a precarious and competitive labour market.

For more information, please contact Yuk Lan Wong.


Slovenia drops charges against investigative journalist Anuška Delić

(15/04/2015) The EFJ welcomed the acquittal of Anuška Delić, a Slovenian investigative journalist who was accused of having published classified information to expose the link between the neo-Nazi group and the main position party in Slovenia in a series of articles she published in 2011. However, Delić told the EFJ that this is “a bitter victory” for her. In the hearing on 15 April, the state prosecutor, Andreja Žvanut, dropped all charges against Delić. However, Žvanut maintained that Delić is “guilty” in a statement she made before the judge and to the media.(Read more


EFJ reiterates appeal to lift ban on freelance journalists

(12/03/2015) The EFJ sent a letter to the Minister of Information of Belarus demanding to abolish the provision in a media law forbidding freelance journalists from practicing journalism in the country.
According to the Mass Media Law in Belarus, freelance journalists are banned from reporting in the country. The law only recognises employed journalists working for major media organisations in Belarus. Foreign journalists who are working in Belarus on assignments can also get press accreditation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. (Read more) (Credit Photo : BAJ)


Greece: Public broadcaster ERT to reopen

(11/03/2015) The EFJ learned that a draft bill for the reopening of public broadcaster ERT was made available for public consultation in March and has been voted by a consultation committee of the Greek Parliament on 15 April. The Greek parliament will vote on the bill next week. If it is passed, ERT will be re-opened imminently. The EFJ affiliates in Greece stressed the importance of making sure that the new ERT will have all the necessary structures to equally cover the need of all Greek citizens for reliable information. (Read more


Corruption in the media is killing ethical journalism

(16/03/2015) How corruption and conflicts of interests stalk the newsroom? According to a new report published by the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), journalists in the Balkans face the challenge of state controlled media and the high dependence of media on public funding. With these challenges, it is difficult for the media to remain independent. ( Read more) (Photo Credit : EB/EFJ)

Who owns the media? 

(06/03/2015) Who owns the media? Whose interest do they serve? The answers to these questions are difficult reach.

To improve media ownership transparency, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) endorsed a campaign launched by Access Info Europe for transparent and easy access to information about media ownership. According to Access Info Europe, a non-governmental organisation promoting access to information, only 9 European countries can the public find out who the actual owners of the broadcast media are from reporting to media regulators or to company registers. (Read more)


Draft EU trade secrets law threatens press freedom

The EFJ joined a group of civil society organisations – Corporate Europe Observatory – across Europe opposing the hasty push by the European Commission for a new European Union (EU) Directive on Trade Secrets.

The EFJ together with a coalition of civil society organisation urged the Council and the European Parliament to amend the directive by limiting the definition of what constitutes a trade secret and strengthening safeguards and exceptions to ensure that data in the public interest cannot be protected as trade secrets. The right to freely use and disseminate information should be the rule, and trade secret protection the exception. (read more)

EU Enlargement Commissioner: “further progress needed on press freedom”

(23/03/2015) In a meeting with an EFJ delegates, the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr. Johannes Hahn, called for more progress made on press freedom in the West Balkans and Turkey. Commissioner Hahn expressed his concerns about media freedom in West Balkans and Turkey and pointed out that it was not satisfactory to see these countries receiving the same critical comments every year ( Read more). Photo credit: MK/EFJ


Crimean Tatar TV shut down

(1.4.2015) The EFJ condemned the closure of the Simferopol-based ATR TV station in Crimea and demanded the authorities to respect the rights of its citizen to receive information. ATR is the only Crimean Tatar-language channel in the world. The channel’s management has submitted the application to renew its licence three times to the local authorities. But each time, the authorities have sent back the application and requested the station to provide more information before granting them the licence. (read more) Photo credit:© Volodymyr Petrov /Kyiv Post

Journalists in Crimea face harassment

(18/03/2015) The EFJ accused the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in Crimea of harassment and intimidation against independent media after journalist Natalya Kokorina (pictured on the left) was detained last Friday for six hours and denied access to legal assistance while her colleague Anna Andrievska (pictured on the right) is facing anti-state charges in relation to an article she wrote in 2014. (Read more) Photo credit: Natalya Kokorina &Victoria Yermolayeva

Journalist killed in artillery attack

(01/03/2015) The EFJ expressed its condolences following the death of Ukrainian journalist Sergii Nikolaiev, 43, in eastern Ukraine, on Saturday.
Sergii Nikolaiev, senior photographer of Segodnya daily Ukrainian newspaper, died of wounds after an artillery attack near the village of Pesky located just 1.5 kilometer from Donetsk airport, in eastern Ukraine, on February 28. (Read more) Photo credit: Sergii Nikolaiev


Can Europe do something for freelances? EFJ meets MEP Steinruck

(31.03.2015) EFJ Director Renate Schroeder together with Freelance Expert Group member Michael Hirschler from the German affiliate DJV met with Member of the European Parliament Jutta Steinruck (Committee for Employment and Social Affairs)  and trade union co-ordinator of the S&D Group. They discussed the urgent problems journalists’ and other unions are facing throughout Europe. (read more)

Freelance journalists need more freedom

(03/03/2015) The EFJ  Freelance Expert Group (FREG) agreed at its latest meeting in Brussels to reinforce its campaign to improve the social and professional status of freelance journalists in Europe. The EFJ experts reached an agreement on two major issues:
  1. All freelance journalists are journalists and have the right to be member of a trade union
  2. There is a need for an international campaign
Photo Credit : MK/EFJ

EFJ webinar on social security for freelances

(12/03/2015) The EFJ and its Freelance Expert Group (FREG) in cooperation with the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) organised another webinar, this time on social security for freelance journalists in Europe, a theme ever more important in times of increasing flexibility and decreasing social security.

Ivan Declercq, freelance advisor of the Flemish journalist association (VVJ) gave some examples from European countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Norway. The special system in Germany of the so-called Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) (artists’ social insurance) highlighted among other systems as best practice. ( Read more) Photo Credit  : MK/EFJ


World Press Freedom Day in Riga and Brussels

(12/03/2015) The EFJ will participate in different events on the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May in Riga and Brussels.

UNESCO leads the worldwide celebration co-hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Latvia, in Riga, from 2-4 May 2015. As official partners of the event, the EFJ together with the IFJ will organise on 3 May a panel discussion at the National Library in Riga. In Brussels, EFJ will also participate in the “Difference Day” organised in the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, as a member of the jury for the iMinds Press for More awards. (read more)


Cartoonists sentenced to jail for insulting Erdogan

Dutch journalists tried in Turkey



EFJ celebrates the courage of women journalists

(07/03/2015) The EFJ marked 8 March, International Women’s Day, by celebrating the courage of women journalists across Europe.
On this day, the EFJ has paid tribute to four women journalists who struggle with strength and determination for freedom of the press in Europe, Khadija Ismayilova, AnuÅ¡ka Delić,  Galina Arapova, Frederike Geerdink. (Read more)
(Picture Credit: Matej Druznik – Delo, Frederike Geerdink, Todd Williamson/AP, MMDC)
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Yuk Lan Wong, Renate Schroeder