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AEJ sections mark World Press Freedom Day 2008 across Europe


Please address any comments or responses you have on these items to the section contacts listed on the AEJ's international website




6 May 2008 The UN is asked to revoke its ban on Taiwanese journalists covering the World Health Assembly in Geneva


The Belgian section of the AEJ co-hosted a press conference with Human Rights without Frontiers International on this topic.



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An open letter was sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to restore the rights of Taiwanese journalists banned from the United Nations since 2004. Report of the event by Willy Fautré





30 April 2008 – La liberté de la presse en recul à travers l’Europe


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This debate is reported on the French section's website, and a full account of the meeting can be read on the Off the Records blog. The participants were




Augustin Scalbert: representative of the Liberté d'informer campaign, media journalist on France Inter


Helen Darbishire: director of Access-Info


Stéphane Siohan: journalist, project director at the Centre de Formation et de Perfectionnement des Journalistes - International


Fabrice Pozzoli-Montenay: journalist, secretary of the AEJ French section


The French section presented the AEJ's Goodbye to Freedom? and announced that it is to be translated into French. Martina Zimmermann reported the event for Deutsche Welle (in German). Anyone interested in helping with the translation project should contact Fabrice Pozzoli-Montenay.



Short article by Egon C Heinrich (in German)





The Greek section of the AEJ is planning an event at the European Parliament on 11 June 2008





5 May 2008 – The Local Media: Stepchild or Lovechild?


This roundtable debate looked into the situation of the local media in Hungary, how it is financed and how the local authorities want to dictate editing the local public media.


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József Martin and László Kleer (president of the organization of the local media) moderated the debate.





Europe and its citizens: what information?


The Italian section marked World Press Freedom Day by organising a conference in Rome. The results of a survey conducted by the Pavia Observatory during the first two months of 2008 were presented. They found that in Italy only 2% of radio and television information is devoted to the EU.



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The roundtable discussion made clear that the level of information on EU policies and issues is also inadequate in other EU member states.  The conference, the last in a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, was arranged in collaboration with the European Parliament.



AEJ sections in Austria, Cyprus and Netherlands encouraged their members to take part in the activities of other organisations marking World Press Freedom Day



Moldova & Romania


22 May 2008 – Moldovan and Romanian sections debate European journalism


The Moldovan section organised a debate at the Hotel Passepartout in Chisinau. AZIR, the Romanian section of the AEJ, participated in a wide-ranging discussion of the most acute threats to media freedom and the work of journalists in Europe.


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The participants were young Moldovan journalists and students.


The discussions included interventions on the following:


·      Journalism in totalitarian regimes – Doina Jela, secretary of the Romanian section


·      European Union and Romanian press, examples to be followed – Teodora Stanciu, president of the Romanian section


·      Young journalists in Romania – Ala Mandacanu, Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, University of Moldova


·      The messages of transition in the independent press – Mariana Tacu, professor at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Moldova


·      Investigative journalism: the impact of investigative articles in the Romanian and Moldavian press – Aneta Grosu, secretary of AEJ Moldova and editor in chief of the Ziarul de Garda newspaper


The discussons were followed by the release of the book, Cartea Foametei, published by Larisa Turea at Curtea Veche Publishing House, Bucharest.


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The event was organised with support from Soros Foundation, Moldova.





15-16 May – Meeting of the AEJ's Serbian section with the AEJ International President


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Diego Carcedo, President of the AEJ, visited the new Serbian section on 15-16 May at the Cervantes Centre in Belgrade. A lecture given by Mr Carcedo outlined the AEJ's activities in the field of press freedom.





29 May 2008 – Roundtable debate on media freedom


The topic is media freedom in post-communist countries in general and the problematic new Slovak Press Law, due to come into force on 1 June, in particular.


Participants in the debate include advocate Andrea Cisarova, Ivan Brada, a journalist with STV Slovak public television, and Peter Turcik, editor-in-chief of Hospodarske noviny.





3 May 2008 – Declaration on journalism read in Ankara


A declaration drawn up by Dogan Tilic, secretary of the Turkish section, was signed by all members of the G-9 Platform, including AEJ Turkey. It was read to press and people in the main Kizilay Square in front of Guven Park in Ankara at 12:30 on 3 May. It was widely reported by TV and newspapers.


The declaration described the global problems of journalism concentration, commercialisation, attacks on journalists and the problems of journalists in Turkey while also protesting to the government about anti-democratic laws and violent police behaviour towards journalists during the May Day demonstrations.


Report of the meeting (in Turkish)



United Kingdom


2 May 2008 – Debate on the motion: "New Media is Killing Journalism." See WPFD




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