ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS
UNITED KINGDOM SECTION
Peter Kramer wins AEJ Prize
The AEJ Journalism Prize was awarded to Peter Kramer, former AEJ Secretary-General. Awarded by the Greek section of the AEJ, it was presented by HE Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, on 20 April. Congratulations to our old friend. See www.aej.org and europeanbusinessreview.eu
Juraj Alner honoured
One of our most distinguished colleagues has been granted the order of France's Légion d'Honneur. Juraj Alner has been a journalist and scholar since 1964 but he was excluded from journalism for the 20 years leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall for being "anti-Communist". He was General Secretary of the international AEJ in the early 2000s and founder of the Slovak section. The President of France nominated him for his work on European integration and on Slovakia's accession to the EU. See further aej.org
AEJ in Europe
Across Europe, the AEJ brings together individual journalists through their membership of the national sections. It was set up in 1961 in the six countries of what was then the EEC by 70 founding members who believed in the potential of journalism to promote European harmony.
There are now more than 1000 members in some 27 sections, independently established in European countries. The members are united by their determination to defend the freedom of information and the media.
Each year one of the national sections hosts the AEJ's annual congress, providing an opportunity to meet journalists from around the continent. One day is focused on an issue of current interest and the general assembly debates resolutions on cases where journalistic freedoms are in jeopardy.
The International Board was elected at the Neusiedl Congress:
Otmar Lahodynsky, Austria
Tibor Macak, Slovakia
Luigi Cobisi, Italy
Javier Fernández Arribas, Spain
William Horsley, UK
Saia Tsaousidou, Greece
Media Freedom Representative
William Horsley, UK
Representative for Brussels
Lieven Taille, Belgium
Diego Carcedo, Spain
Eileen Dunne, Ireland
Athanase Papandropoulos, Greece
Honorary Vice Presidents
Carmelo Occhino, Italy
Dogan Tiliç, Turkey
Honorary Secretaries General
Miguel Angel Aguilar, Spain
Juraj Alner, Slovakia
Peter Kramer, Belgium
International Audit Committee
Soren Haar, Belgium
Niels Schreuder, Belgium
Mike Springate, UK
International Arbitration Committee
Pedro Gonzalez Martinez
Gerrit van der Kooy
Vilnius, 16-19 November 2017
Fake news and attempts to undermine media credibility were the main topics at the AEJ's 2017 Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania. The congress continued the debate from last year on threats to journalism in what some call a post-truth era. For more on the congress please see this report from AEJ UK chairman and international vice president on media freedom William Horsley and more on the AEJ International site. Also below for audio transcripts of the discussions:
financed/controlled disinformation campaigns
issues in Lithuania related to Europe
Safety of Female Journalists Online - Jennifer Adams OSCE Media Freedom Project Officer
Escalation of Post-Truth in the Nordics and Baltics - Mikko Salo, Faktabaari Finland
media pluralism and editorial integrity
Thick data? Journalism in times of personalized and data-driven user
Kilkenny, 4-6 November 2016
Perhaps unsurprisingly the issue of Brexit was on every delegate's mind and their lips at the AEJ's 2016 Congress in Kilkenny in southeastern Ireland on 4 -6 November - and in reporting of the event. The congress debated Brexit and the rise of demagoguery, the threat to journalism in a brave new media world, and talk of a so-called `post-truth era', under the overall theme of `The changing face of Europe and its media'. William Horsley, AEJ Vice President and Media Freedom Representative, has this account of the highly charged discussions.
Press coverage focussed on Brexit at the AEJ meeting can be
Also here and in these three articles from the Austria Press Agency were written by Thomas Karabaczek, president of the Austrian section, and quoted in Austrian dailies (edited translation via Google)
On another subject discussed at the Kilkenny congress see this article by Bruce Clark in The Economist on threats to media freedom in the Balkans.
Sibiu, 6-7 November 2015
An exceptionally successful AEJ Congress was held on 6-7 November in Sibiu, Romania. The generosity of the Romanian Section as hosts is deeply appreciated by all, particularly as it is only four years since it last undertook this burdensome task.
A comprehensive report of the congress appears on the AEJ’s international website, as does a report focusing on corruption. Country reports by the AEJ sections are accessible on the Survey page on this site, and further documents are being added to the Media Freedom. The dangers from which free media may help protect Europe and its people are analysed by Anthony Robinson, former Eastern Europe Editor of the FT, in an article inspired by the debates at Sibiu.
Neusiedl, 16-19 October 2014
This year's Congress and General Assembly were held at Neusiedl in Austria's Burgenland. This falls within the Pannonia West EuRegion whose generosity helped the Austrian Section to stage this highly successful event. Thanks all round.
The congress opened with a talk by Laszló Nagy, a leading figure in events at Lake Neusiedl in August 1989. It was a key moment in progress towards the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The debate on EU foreign and security policy was dominated by the crisis in Ukraine. It was acknowledged that new thinking is needed but also that it will not be easy to agree on it.
In the media freedom debate, the AEJ deplored the harassment, violence and worse that journalists endure and called on European governments and organisations to stamp it out and punish all those responsible. A resolution to this effect was adopted by the General Assembly.
Brussels, 22-24 November 2013
The 51st AEJ congress took place in Brussels. Peter Kramer, former Secretary-General of the AEJ, contributed massively to its organisation. We are greatly indebted to the Board and to him for a memorable event that was as enjoyable as it was constructive for the association. Among other things, a revised AEJ Statute was approved unanimously.
The debate on 22 November was on "Journalism and Democracy in a Time of Flux ". The reports from national sections highlighted the plight of journalists and media freedom in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. See Survey
Resolutions were adopted by the General Assembly on:
Secret interception of communications by state agencies
Serious abuses of human rights in Azerbaijan and other European countries
Offida, 25-28 October 2012
The Italian section hosted the 50th AEJ congress at Offida in the Marche region. This assumption of responsibility for the event by the Italian section is deeply appreciated by us all. The formal programme was complemented by a rich social and cultural programme.
Among the speakers at the fruitful session on media freedom was Jan Malinowski, head of the Council of Europe's Media and Information Society Division. An account of the discussion can be found in Media Freedom and the ten AEJ reports, in the Media Freedom Survey
Bucharest, 10-12 November 2011
The Romanian Section hosted the 2011 annual congress in Bucharest on 10-12 November. We greatly appreciate their hospitality, and congratulate the section on creating a memorable event that drew an audience of more than 60 journalists from 17 countries.
The theme of the congress was “Freedom and Responsibility in the Mass Media”. The programme covered institutional, ethical and media freedom issues in Romania and neighbouring countries. Teodor Baconschi, Romania’s Foreign Minister, took part in the debate on institutional issues.
Disparities between practices in many countries and the freedom of expression that they have all guaranteed through adherence to the Council of Europe were highlighted. For full coverage, see William Horsley’s report and the international AEJ website.
A sobering account of these issues, combined with a rousing call to action, was published by AEJ UK member Jonathan Fryer in the Huffington Post. Jonathan also cast a wry eye over the congress, the Foreign Minister’s contribution to the debate and the trip to Renault’s Dacia car factory in his blog.
The AEJ membership passed a resolution calling on Turkey to stop using its repressive laws to silence journalists, and for concerted pressure to be brought on the government by the authorities in other European countries. Please sign the petition and see Why? What is happening in Turkey? by AEJ Vice-President L Dogan Tilic
Country reports were delivered on Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine.
Ordu Congress, 8-9 October 2010
The generosity and commitment of the Turkish section and in particular its President, Dogan Tilıç, in hosting this congress on Turkey's Black Sea coast were greatly appreciated by all. We warmly thank the City of Ordu for its munificent hospitality and support before, during and after the event.
Maastricht Congress, 19-21 November 2009
The Dutch Section hosted the 2009 congress in Maastricht. We are all most grateful to Fred Sanders, Gerrit van der Kooy, Harrie Jeurissen and the Dutch Section for making the occasion so lively and enjoyable. The guest speaker on 20 November was Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner.
Linz Congress, 21-22 November 2008
The Austrian Section hosted the 2008 congress in Linz, Cultural Capital of Europe 2009. We are indebted to Otmar Lahodynsky for the flawless organisation that made the event such a resounding success
Dublin Congress, 9-10 November 2007
For the truly memorable congress hosted by the Irish Section, see www.aej.ie
Other AEJ sections