Armenia: investigating harassment against journalists during December’s referendum vote

AEJ Armenia and the Armenian Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression are closely following the progress – and often the lack of progress – in official investigations following a spate of violent incidents targeting journalists on 6 December 2015, the day of the controversial constitutional change referendum.

Austrian daily ‘Die Presse’ reports AEJ Open Letter to Polish ministers against broadcasting law; new rules now in force despite widespread appeals and protests

On Thursday 7 January the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, signed the contested law into force, ignoring appeals by many media and NGO organisations, as well as the Council of Europe and the European Commission, among others.

Council of Europe chief asks Poland’s president not to sign contested public broadcasting law, citing ‘alert’ from AEJ and other journalists’ organisations

In a rare top-level public intervention the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, has written a letter to Poland’s President, Andzej Duda, asking him to refrain from signing into law the controversial public service media legislation just adopted by the Sejm, and to open a dialogue focusing on Poland’s commitments to freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights. Mr Jagland’s letter cites the Alert submitted to the Council of Europe’s ‘Platform to promote the protection of journalists and the safety of journalists’ by the AEJ, Article 19, Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Federation and International Federation of Journalists, Index on Censorship and Reporters Without Borders.

Politico calls 2015 ‘an awful year for Europe’s free media

Politico reporter Alex Spence surveys the catalogue of arrests, assaults, murders and legal restrictions targeting journalists that have made 2015 a terrible year for press freedom in Europe.

AEJ Open Letter asks Polish ministers to shelve ‘hasty’ plans for government control over public broadcasting

On Tuesday the Association of European Journalists urged the newly-elected Polish government to halt its proposal to place the country’s public service TV and radio channels under its direct control, and instead to respect the widely-accepted principles of public service broadcasting, including editorial independence and impartiality.

International media freedom organisations appeal for actions to end the high death toll among journalists

The Declaration is the result of intensive discussions organised by the International Press Institute, , the Al Jazeera Media Network and other international partners -- including the Association of European Journalists, which is one of the founding signatories of the document.

AEJ joins protests against detention and prosecution of leading Turkish newspaper editors

The Association of European Journalists protests in the strongest terms against the arrest on Thursday evening of Can Dundar, the editor in chief of Cumhuriyet daily newspaper and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief. Both men were arrested and detained in Silivri High Security Prison on charges of terrorist propaganda, being members of armed organization, spying and revealing state secrets. .

AEJ Italy 2015 Media Freedom Report: Investigations expose a ‘plague’ of intimidation and legal harassment

This year’s Media Freedom report on Italy is an eye-opener. Ossigeno per l’Informazione, a small Italian NGO, has uncovered a truly shocking picture of the Italian media working under routine threats of reprisals, mafia violence, and libel suits which can still land them in jail.

Corruption and the long arm of Moscow in eastern Europe: a former Financial Times correspondent writes from the AEJ Sibiu Congress

Taking part in this year’s AEJ annual conference in the ancient Saxon town of Sibiu, in the heart of Transylvania, revealed the value of an organisation which links journalists across the richest but arguably the most culturally and linguistically diverse of continents as it faces a series of internal and external crises.

Otmar Lahodynsky, Président AEJ-International: Après les attaques atroces des terroristes à Paris nos sentiments sont avec les familles de victimes et le peuple francais

Les terroristes visent aussi notre manière de vie et les valeurs de l'Europe comme tolérance et liberté de l'opinion

AEJ Turkey 2015 Report: Arrests, criminalisation of journalism and mass sackings spell ‘new low’ for press freedom

Conditions for all media have deteriorated sharply in Turkey in the past year. The governmental and judicial pressure on independent journalism has reached unprecedented levels.

AEJ Congress in Sibiu, Romania, debates politics and media roles in critical times for Europe

The AEJ Congress theme, “Europe in Turmoil- Reflections in Politics and Media” was timely, as Romania has been plunged into deep political uncertainty following the deadly fire at Bucharest's Colectiv club on 30 October which killed 41 people. Large-scale public vigils and protests against political corruption and mismanagement have taken place in dozens of Romanian towns and cities.

Corruption kills and a corrupt political class must go, Romanian politician tells AEJ Congress

The mayor of Sibiu, Astrid Fodor, welcomed AEJ journalists from across Europe -- the former western Europe and the former Eastern Europe. Protestors have poured into the streets here, too. And journalists, she said. have a responsibility to report honestly about what lies behind the current turmoil.

Harsh laws and editorial pressures make Bosnian journalists the ‘slaves’ of media owners: 2015 Media Freedom Report

The media community in Bosnia and Herzegovina is bearing the brunt of failings in the country’s democratic development. BiH is ranked 66thout in 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index. Almost 20 years after the agreement to end the war, civil society and national institutions arestruggling on many fronts againstpolitical forcescausing seriousdamage to the media community.

Bulgaria AEJ Media Freedom report shows drastic worsening of conditions for journalists

A new AEJ-Bulgaria’s National Press Freedom Survey finds that more than half the country’s journalists have experienced undue pressure on their reporting and nearly three-quarters reported observing such pressures exerted on their colleagues. The 2015 AEJ-Bulgaria Media Freedom Report describes growing pressures that constrict the space for independent journalism, including regulators’ attempts to stop coverage of banking scandals, defamation cases aimed at silencing critical voices, public smear campaigns and physical as well as verbal abuse.

AEJ 2015 Media Freedom Reports on Armenia, Ireland and Ukraine

Targeted violence against the media and censorship in Ukraine; police violence at a large street protest in Armenia; and the negative effects of excessive media concentration in Ireland are among the urgent topics highlighted in the 2015 Media Freedom Reports from national Sections of the AEJ.

“Immersive media” covered Open Days in Brussels: smartphone technology for a new media age

On the initiative of AEJ Belgium, Brussels was this week the setting for journalists from across Europe to participate directly in a field test for new “immersive” media during “Open Days European week of regions and cities” from 12 to 15 October 2015. The experimental “Wall of moments”, developed by the European consortium ICoSOLE*, offered registered journalists the opportunity to cover the European Week of Regions and Cities meeting in Brussels simultaneously from different buildings spread over the city

EU struggles to match action with values: CPJ says Press Freedom at risk

‘Press freedom is a reliable barometer of the state of democracy. The EU’s failure to live up to its own standards undermines its influence on the rest of the world’, said Jean-Paul Marthoz, author of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) report ‘Balancing Act: ‘Press Freedom at risk as EU struggles to match action with values’.* The Report was launched September 29, in the Pressclub Brussels Europe (PCBE).

Well-known Turkish journalist attacked outside his house; journalists protest against escalating violence

Ahmet Hakan, a popular Turkish TV journalist and columnist, was attacked and beaten by a group of attackers in front of his house when he returned home late at night after the transmission of his regular TV program. He was hospitalized early on Wednesday morning with a broken nose and rib.

AEJ expressesits solidarity with Turkish daily Hurriyet which was twice attacked in 48 hours

Visiting the Ankara office of the newspaperon Wednesdayin the name of Turkey’s G-9 Journalists Associations Platform and the AEJ, Dogan Tilic said:“The attack against Hurriyet and the statements made by an MP who took a leading part in that assault are unacceptable in any democracy”, and that AEJ stood in international solidarity with the paper.

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