Read our Special Edition on the latest news about the EFJ Annual Meeting.
EFJ ANNUAL MEETING

Moscow, 21-22 November 2014

  EDITORIAL 
EFJ Annual Meeting: Unity and Dialogue


The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has taken significant steps in the past year to steer the organisation towards a future, where our ambition is to become one of the key stakeholders in influencing media policy and labour policy in Europe.
 
At our Annual Meeting in Moscow on 20 and 21 November, we succeeded to unite and engage in dialogue among the EFJ affiliates in the spirit of respect for both participating and non-participating affiliates.
 
The focus this year has been on the crisis in Ukraine that is also affecting the EFJ affiliates and the annual meeting. None of us would have predicted the drastic developments today when compared to a year ago when we had a conference in Kiev on union building, organising and collective bargaining. What’s happening today can be seen as the darkest period for journalism in Europe with 8 killed journalists and more than 200 journalists being attacked.
 
Not only Ukraine but also in Russia and some other European countries, fighting impunity moves to the top of our agenda.  Recently, I attended a UN Inter Agency meeting in Strasbourg about safety and the campaign to end impunity against journalists. The issue has also been raised recently by the UNESCO. At the meeting last week with the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, we have raised again our concerns over Europe’s media freedom. We continue our efforts in sending a strong signal to the authorities about the urgency to end impunity against journalists.
 
While, international and governmental institutions have their roles in safeguarding media freedom, the duty of the EFJ is to ensure that media freedom, safety of journalists and media pluralism as the fundamental pillars in the development of democracy are upheld. To do so, we need to work in unity. The Annual Meeting that has passed just proved that this can be done - together we can make a difference.
 
EFJ President
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård

Annual Meeting News

Some 53 delegates from 26 countries representing trade union organsations and professional associations of journalists attended the Annual Meeting of the EFJ in Moscow on 21 November hosted by its affiliate, the Russian Journalists' Union (RUJ).

The meeting was conducted in the spirit of unity and dialogue. A minute of silence was observed following the opening of the meeting to remember the 56 journalists who were killed for doing their jobs since 1993 in Russia.

Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media spoke at the meeting as the keynote speaker about the need to protect journalists and her support for ethical journalism especially in times of conflict.

Participants at the Annual Meeting unanimously adopted motions (among others) to improve cooperation between Ukrainian and Russian affiliates on journalists' safety and to promote solidarity with its Russian affiliate.

An evening discussion was also organised on 20 November to discuss gender in the media, the safety of journalists and youth in the union movement to highlight many challenges facing journalists in Russia and how unions and civil society can better the situation.

EFJ adopts resolutions
 


The EFJ Annual Meeting in Moscow on 20 – 21 November 2014 has adopted 18 resolutions  on
  • Economic Crisis, Labour Rights, Gender
  • Ethics, Press Freedom and Safety
  • EU Lobbying
The meeting voted unanimously the motions to improve cooperation between Ukrainian and Russian affiliates on journalists' safety and to promote solidarity with its Russian affiliate You can download the resolutions in English or French.

The Annual Meeting has also made statements to express solidarity with journalists and their unions in Greece, France, Palestine and the Philippines. (read the statements in English / French).

EFJ mission to Ukraine


The EFJ has carried out a mission to Ukraine on 6 – 8 November to investigate the situation facing journalists reporting in conflict areas. Yannis Kotsifos, a member of the EFJ Steering Committee, has visited the EFJ affiliates (NUJU and IMTUU) in Kiev to understand the challenges they face in protecting their journalists.

A report containing an anlysis of the current situation and a series of recommendations have been made to support journalists and their unions in Ukraine. Kotsifos presented the report during the EFJ Annual Meeting in Moscow and its recommendations have been adopted by the meeting. (Read more)

A facelift for the EFJ website

The EFJ has launched its new website during the Annual Meeting with the aim to improve its communications and to increase the visibility of its work and those of the EFJ affiliates. The French version of the website will be launched at a later stage.

Visit our website at www.europeanjournalists.org. If you have any comment or suggestion for improvement, you are welcome to send it to yuklan.wong@ifj.org
FEATURE ARTICLES

Moscow - the unexpected journey


By Roman Berger

The Swiss journalist and writer, Roman Berger, recalled his journey to Moscow at the EFJ Annual Meeting and the struggle for journalists and their unions to be independent in a country like Russia where the state controls everything. “Moscow is not a media desert with only pro-government media” – this is Berger’s conclusion.

The delegate from Estonia has summed up the reason of his presence at the EFJ Annual Meeting: "Only when I found out after my research that the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) is a critical organisation, my union was willing to send me as a delegate to participate in the meeting in Moscow." Meelis Suld told me why he came to Moscow.
 
The decision of the EFJ to hold its Annual Meeting on "Journalism in times of conflict" in Moscow was a difficult one. It had led to some unions boycotting it in protest of Putin's policies in Ukraine. Others have raised the question: how independent can journalists’ unions be in a former soviet country where unions still tend to rely on the state and the rights of workers are not represented? (Read the full article in English and German)

Why impunity must end, journalists’ safety ensured and ethics improved


By Dunja Mijatović

Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, gave a keynote speech at the EFJ Annual Meeting and expressed her support for ethical and independent journalism in Russia. She highlighted the dire situation of journalism in media.

“Journalism is an important profession. It can be seen as a skill, a talent, even a passion in a way; a passion to tell the truth, to inform, to reach others, to communicate news using all platforms. So why is this passion, this profession so fiercely attacked, challenged and perceived as controversial?”

“Russian media is in dire need of self-examination.There is a need to cleanse journalism of fear, propaganda and routine frustration. In the absence of critical journalism, democracy  suffers and deliberate misinformation becomes the standard.”

“There is no democracy without professional, courageous and investigative journalism, and there is no future without democracy.” (Read the full speech)

PHOTO GALLERY

To view more pictures, visit our website.
(Photo credit: RUJ/Alexander Vorobyev, EFJ/Yuk Lan Wong)
Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Journalists, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

CHIEF EDITOR
Ricardo
Gutiérrez

EDITOR
Yuk Lan Wong

CONTRIBUTOR
Roman Berger