ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN  JOURNALISTS

UNITED KINGDOM SECTION

The AEJ is active across Europe. Please visit www.aej.org and check AEJ Newsletters to see what it is doing for its members

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Latest News

EU to examine Poland’s highest court: The European Commission announced a preliminary assessment of the rule of law in Poland in light of the changes made to the Constitutional Court’s statute. While well aware of the media law and its potential to erode legal freedoms, the priority is to ensure that the judicial system is capable of enforcing them. (13 January 2016)

Polish media law signed: President Andrzej Duda signed the media bill into law on 7 January. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, had asked President Duda to open a dialogue with the Council on article 10 ECHR before signing it. See aej.org. Die Presse has published the AEJ’s open letter to the Polish President. See aej.org. (11 January 2016)

AEJ protest against Polish law:summary by the AEJ Media Freedom Representative. (5 January 2016)

Europe’s press freedom record in 2015: A survey by Politico’s Alex Spence catalogues the arrests, assaults, murders and legal restraints suffered by Europe’s journalists in 2015. “An awful year.” See aej.org (31 December 2015)

AEJ protests against Polish media law: The AEJ has written an open letter to the new Polish government to abandon its proposal to place public service broadcasting under direct government control. See aej.org (29 December 2015)

Media rally against violence: An international declaration was published calling on governments to take decisive action to end murders and violent attacks directed at journalists. It was proposed by the IPI and backed by many in or representing the media, including the AEJ. See aej.org (9 December 2015)

Meeting with David McAllister: Those who missed this meeting on 4 December may find Laurence Peter’s Germany warns UK on rules for EU migrants for BBC News and Jonathan Fryer’s Germany wants Britain in the EU of interest. (5 December 2015)


Latest Briefings

A selection of writings with an AEJ connection

Jonathan Fryer, also an AEJ member of long standing, writes a blog

Firdevs Robinson's writing is now accessible on FirdevsTalkTurkey.com

William Horsley blogs on BBC Academy

William Horsley: Re-living the Warsaw Uprising: a film for all seasons. A review of Portrait of a Soldier (18 January 2016)

Anthony Robinson: Corruption and the long arm of Moscow in central Europe. Blog from the AEJ Congress in Sibiu, Romania:  6-7 November 2015 (10 November 2015)

Laurence Peter: EU seizures of migrant boats won’t stop crime gangs - IOM (BBC News, 6 October 2015)

Firdevs Robinson: The chilling effect of mounting pressure on Turkish media (2 September 2015)

Otmar Lahodynsky: Why the new EU directive on trade secrets protection is a threat to media freedom (11 June 2015)

William Horsley: Should Europe boldly go into the media battleground? (10 March 2015)

William Horsley: Charlie Hebdo murders mean journalism just got more dangerous (9 January 2015)

 

 

Lunchtime meetings

Meetings are held at the European Parliament’s London Office (Europe House, 32 Smith Square, SW1P 3EU) and usually start at 12:30. A fee of £25 is charged to cover the cost of refreshments (free admission may be extended to students on a discretionary basis).

26 February 2016

Dr. Gerard Lyons

Chief economic adviser to the mayor of
London.

For speakers’ details, see News. For a list of our recent lunchtime guests, see Past Events.

The EP’s UK website gives details of its own events, of which visitors may be notified by email.


UK media and the EU – 8 February

The Eonomic & Social Research Council and the University of East Anglia have an all-day seminar on “Reporting Europe: The UK Media and the EU”.

It will be held at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5AH, from 9:30 to 17:00. Attendance is free of charge but booking is essential.

An impressive range of speakers will discuss why media coverage matters, whether the UK media is any good at it, whether the UK is different from the rest of the EU, the challenge of reporting EU news and a comparison of EU coverage with that devoted to the US.


Portrait of a Soldier

William Horsley has written a review of this film about the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, premiered on 14 January at the Polish Embassy in London.

An hour long, the film is based on the recollections of Wanda Traczyk-Stawska, a veteran of the Uprising. It presents rarely seen archive footage and sets it against the backdrop of her powerful personal testimony.

The film is available on DVD and as a download from Journeyman Pictures.


A blog from Sibiu

Among the fruits of a lively and successful 2015 Congress is this contribution by Anthony Robinson, formerly East Europe Editor of the Financial Times and a member of the UK section of the AEJ. He spent three decades in this vast region, 13 years of which were under Soviet rule. He writes:

What struck me most listening to anti-corruption activists such as conference speaker Monica Macovei, a Romanian MEP, and above all to media colleagues from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere, was the sense of how vulnerable society in general and the media in particular feels about the prevalence of corruption, the lack of implementation of laws protecting journalists – and the way internal corruption facilitates the insidious return of Soviet-style agents of influence on many levels.

Seeing the repetition of a past blighted by suppression and corruption, he urges the media to wake the people up to the new – or not so new – European reality.


Media visits to the European Parliament

The EP’s London Office has a small budget to offset some of the travel and hotel costs incurred by journalists when visiting the European Parliament. Only a limited number can be helped in this way, so you must first be invited by the UK Office before seeking reimbursement (see EP website).

 

 

About us

The AEJ is an independent, self-funding association for journalists, writers and specialists in European affairs. The UK section is part of a Europe-wide network of some 20 national sections across Europe, with more than 1000 members in all.

In the UK section, we arrange for leading newsmakers from across Europe to give briefings to us about once a month, over lunch at the office of the European Parliament in London. We also organise special events, such as seminars, from time to time.

The AEJ offers journalists the chance to be part of a network of media professionals and experts on European issues. Membership can provide valuable mutual support for individual journalists (it is open to both UK and non-UK nationals). If you would like to join, please go to the Membership page.

We are not tied to any institutional or political group but are recognised by the Council of Europe, the OSCE and UNESCO. Our goals are to advance knowledge and debate on European affairs and to uphold media freedom.

Internationally, the AEJ has an active programme of professional activities and the annual AEJ Congress is a forum for debate on matters of common concern to journalists across the continent. A high priority is given to the AEJ's Media Freedom Project.


AEJ Media Freedom Project

The AEJ works to protect freedom of expression and independent journalism by bringing issues to the attention of governments and advising inter-governmental organisations on behalf of our members. The AEJ's Media Freedom Representative is William Horsley, a former BBC foreign correspondent and the current chairman of the UK section.

Since the AEJ Media Freedom Survey in 2007 (Goodbye to Freedom?), the AEJ has published Europe-wide surveys that reveal the erosion of press freedom through physical assaults, wrongful imprisonment, oppressive laws, and unacceptable political and commercial pressures.

The AEJ is an observer at the Council of Europe. Since 2 April 2015, it has been one of the five partners in the Council’s online platform for early warning of and rapid response to attacks on the media. For more information, see Media Freedom.

The AEJ actively supports the ongoing efforts of UNESCO, the UN Agency with a mandate to safeguard media freedom, to implement the draft UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (text). The AEJ Media Freedom Representative authored the OSCE's Safety of Journalists Guidebook setting out the obligations of participating states to protect the security of journalists, including those using the Internet.

Our campaigns and activities can also be tracked on the Media Freedom and News pages of the international AEJ website, www.aej.org


AEJ and the Council of Europe

The AEJ takes part in the policy work of the Council of Europe (CoE) on key issues of media freedom as a participant in the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society and the Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists. It works on behalf of its members across Europe to hold the CoE and its 47 member states to their commitments on media freedom and freedom of expression.

To read further, please go to Media Freedom.