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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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. It 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.


AEJ and the Council of Europe

The AEJ takes part in the policy work of the Council of Europe (CoE) on key issues, including journalists' safety and the freedom of the Internet, as a participant in the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society. 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.

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

 

 

Lunchtime meetings

20 June 2014

Anne Applebaum

Author, journalist and sovietologist

4 July 2014

Margaret Macmillan

Professor of International History at Oxford University, Warden of St Anthony's College, author of The War that Ended Peace

Due to building works at our usual meeting-place, no AEJ events are planned for April or May.

Meetings are held at the European Parliament’s London Office (Europe House, 32 Smith Square, SW1). A fee of £25 is charged to cover the cost of refreshments (special £10 rate for students and journalists under the age of 25).

The EP’s UK website gives details of its own events, of which visitors may be notified by email. You can see a list of our recent lunchtime guests in Past Events


EP elections 2014 – analysis

Simon Hix's analysis underscores the importance of the vote on 25 May for the EU at large. It has become a live issue in popular perceptions with voices urging reform, curbs on intra-EU immigration and even exit. It is the first election since the euro crisis caused divergence of interest among member states, and those elected will also be the first to have real power in choosing the Commission's president.

On 14 March, when Professor Hix gave the AEJ his insights, the polls predicted a fairly close match between the two big parties, with the EPP losing share and the S&D gaining marginally, as well as strong growth at the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

PollWatch2014 provides up-to-the-minute analysis of the predictions from opinion polls.


EP elections 2014 – Debating Europe

Debating Europe is an online discussion forum set up by Friends of Europe and Europe's World magazine. It hosts online debates, live chats and events that enable citizens to question MEPs and candidates on the issues facing Europe

Votes for the European political groups are held each month, acting as a useful barometer for politicians, media and the European Parliament itself. It is run in partnership with the EP, Microsoft, Skype and Gallup.


Rory Peck Prize 2014

The 2014 prize is now open for nomination of entries by freelance cameramen and -women worldwide. The three categories are for news, features and features examining humanitarian and social issues that have had an impact (the Sony Award). The entries must have been first broadcast/made public between 1 June 2013 and 31 May 2104. The closing date for nomination is 2 June. See rorypecktrust.org


Liberty petition on Snowden law

Liberty, the human rights NGO, has launched a petition for action against mass state surveillance. It is based on six basic legal principles:

·        no surveillance without suspicion

·        transparent, not secret, laws

·        judicial, not political, authorisation

·        effective democratic oversight

·        the right to redress

·        a secure web for all

Please sign it!


Petition to stop mass surveillance

The AEJ supports a petition to EU leaders to stop mass surveillance following NSA revelations. Do sign the petition!


Petition for the Levada Centre

A petition to support this Russian NGO is open for signature. The Levada Centre is a respected independent Russian opinion research organisation. It is one of the academic and NGO organisations being harassed by Russian authorities to register as a "foreign agent" because of receiving funds from abroad.


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 website).

 

 

 

Latest News

Crimea: The European Court of Human Rights has called on Ukraine and Russia to refrain from taking any measures that might entail breaches of the Convention rights of the civilian population and to take measures as soon as possible to ensure that the Convention is fully complied with (see aej.org). The IFJ and EFJ have protested at the conditions imposed on journalists by the Crimean regional government when covering the referendum on 16 March (aej.org) and the AEJ condemned the harassment of two Bulgarian journalists (aej.org) (17 March 2014).

Ukraine: The Ukraine section of the AEJ has joined other journalistic organisations in an appeal to foreign media to beware of Russian propaganda. See aej.org (4 March 2014).

Turkey: European monitoring groups have expressed concerns about the pressure the Turkish government is bringing to bear on the media. The AEJ and other groups have commented on tapes revealing both pressure and news manipulation. A report by Meneske Tokyay can be read in SES Türkiye (21 February 2014).

A new book by Don Hatwell: Don Hatwell, member of the UK section since its birth, has written another book. This time he has collected up a miscellany of his writings as a journalist and reviewer on just about every topic one can think of. Details in AEJ in the UK (19 February 2014).

Peter Greste, imprisoned in Egypt: Peter Greste is one of four al-Jazeera journalists held in Tora prison on spurious charges. Their trial opened on 20 February. Avaaz has launched a petition for his release, already signed by nearly 35,000 people. "Friends of Peter Greste" has been formed on Facebook and now has more than 600 members. They have been privileged to receive his "Letters from Tora Jail" – testimony to his courage and clarity, and a significant document in the history of journalism standing up to state misuse of power. Please sign the petition and/or join the Facebook group (you need to be a subscriber to Facebook yourself). See also William Horsley's article in Blogs & Briefings. (17 February 2014).

Turkish journalists ask President to veto internet law: A protest was held in Ankara calling for an end to media oppression and asking President Gül to veto a bill, passed by parliament on 6 February, that would allow the government to block online content. The protest was organised by the G-9 journalists' groups chaired by AEJ Hon President Dogan Tilic. See aej.org (16 February 2014).

Council of Europe enlists AEJ help in protecting journalists: A rapid response mechanism and an internet-based early warning system for journalists facing threats to their safety are among measures announced by the 27 ambassadors of CoE members. The AEJ will be represented on a new committee set up to make the new plans effective. See aej.org (23 January 2014).

Release of three journalists kidnapped in Syria: The AEJ has welcomed the release of Magnus Falkehed, Niclas Hammarström and Bunyamin Aygün. Some 50 journalists are still being held against their will. See aej.org (14 January 2014).


Latest Briefings

A selection of writings with an AEJ connection

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

Jonathan Fryer: Labour mobility within the EU (4 March 2014)

William Horsley: Jailing of al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt highlights need for new defences (24 January 2014)

William Horsley: An unholy mixture: surveillance, the law and a setback for journalism (30 August 2013)