ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN  JOURNALISTS

UNITED KINGDOM SECTION

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Chairman’s report to the 2011 Annual General Meeting

 

Summary: 2011 was an extremely testing year both for journalists and for Europe! Our lunchtime meetings reflected the big European themes, including the Eurozone debt crisis with economics guru David Marsh and the Conservative MP Michael Fallon from the Treasury Select Committee; and disputes and uncertainty about the EU’s institutional arrangements under the Lisbon Treaty, with the Czech Ambassador speaking on EU integration and the Director of Fair Trials International on the European Arrest Warrant. We also had a lively meeting with Ming Campbell on the UK’s experiment with a “European” form of government – coalition.

The UK Section much appreciates the hospitality of the European Commission’s Representation and the UK Office of the European Parliament in making space available in their meeting rooms for all of our members’ meetings in 2011.

Other activities: We have strengthened our contacts and cooperation with other organisations, leading to invitations for AEJ members to attend many non-AEJ public events, including the January debate on Wikileaks staged by the Commonwealth Journalists’ Association and events hosted by the Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust.

Several AEJ members attended the World Press Freedom Day debate on Arab Spring: The Freedom to Report held at the Reuters headquarters in Canary Wharf on 3 May. The AEJ is part of the UK Press Freedom Network which organises WPFDay.

The AEJ Students’ Support Scheme: We welcomed several London-based journalism students and recent graduates as our guests at AEJ meetings – including Joyeeta Basu from India, who has since got work with a BBC local radio station, and Richard Wordsworth, a UCL graduate who is heading for Moscow to try his hand there.

 

 

The AEJ UK website: Celia has done an excellent job with the website. It has advance information about our meetings, write-ups of past events and news, and features about the AEJ’s international activities in support of media freedom.

The International AEJ’s website www.aej.org has detailed reports about the AEJ’s Congress in Bucharest last November. Last year it carried more than 30 news items on the struggles for free and independent media by our colleagues in Turkey, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary and elsewhere, and responses by European institutions. The Euractiv website carried an item out of the Bucharest meeting, titled “AEJ finds media freedom crumbling across eastern Europe”. Jonathan Fryer also blogged about the Bucharest trip. Links to all those pieces are on AEJ in Europe.

Solidarity: In May 2011, UK Section members responded generously to the appeal from our Turkish colleague, Dogan Tilic, one of the AEJ’s international vice-presidents, to support a major campaign against the imprisonment of more than 60 Turkish journalists under harsh laws that have been widely condemned as being in breach of the European Convention. The funds raised by AEJ members in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere enabled AEJ Vice-President Javier Arribas to fly Istanbul to speak at a special rally on World Press Freedom Day.

And in November 2011 two AEJ representatives took part in an international delegation, led by the European Federation of Journalists, to raise international awareness about the oppression of journalists in Turkey who face prosecution or prison for their reporting. The report of the International Press Freedom Mission to Turkey is posted as a news item on www.aej.org.

More details of the AEJ’s international activities are in the AEJ Media Freedom Representative’s  Annual Report to the General Assembly, his Report to the Congress and the AEJ Newsletter that went to members before Christmas.

 

William Horsley  

Chairman, UK Section of the AEJ  

January 2012  

 

 

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

Secretary’s report for the AGM

Secretary’s report on the UK Section’s activities for the AEJ Congress

Meetings