Monday, June 26, 2017

API News

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API SUCCESS ON THE PITCH

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The API football team finished third in the annual Subsicup-tournament. Needless to say that the Austrian Dream Team won once more. The API-team, led by skipper Augustin Palokaj, made up of newspaper (Augustin, Pablo, Oliver), radio (Sebastian), television (Markus) and online-media (Nikolaj) colleagues plus sons (Silas and Gordian) and friends (Mentor, Andy and Chris) of journalists, kept cool in the decisive penalty shoot out. It was our youngest player – Silas, aged 12 – who showed the way by not only scoring twice from the penalty spot, but he was also chosen as 'MVP' – Most Valued Player  - of the tournament. Well done!

All smiles! From left: Skipper Augustin, Most Valued Player Silas, ever smiling Markus and goalie Mentor.

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NEW BADGE WILL MAKE PRESS ACCESS TO EP EASIER

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API had a meeting with spokeswoman Marjory van den Broeke of the European Parliament about a few outstanding issues:

  • press entrance to the EP buildings in Brussels: last year a new dedicated press line was established at the visitors entrance to the PHS building, but there were many complaints about the functioning of this facility. Now the dedicated press line will be indicated more clearly and journalists with an accreditation (the yellow interinstitutional badge) will have priority at the security check. The guards will be instructed again to allow them this priority over visitors waiting in line (there will be no special scanners for journalists). After this security check they will no longer have to be escorted by a guard to the revolving door giving access to the building itself, as from later this month on every accredited journalist will be able to obtain a special badge which will open this lock gate. More information about this will follow soon.

  • Photographers:Van den Broeke will investigate if it is possibleto make access easier for photographers, who now need special badges to be able to operate in the EP and who need to sign every time again a declaration accepting the special rules for picture taking in the parliament. She will investigate the possibily of a one-time acceptance for regular accredited photographers and cameramen.

  • Photographers also have a problem with the fact that at high level events in the plenary (like visiting leaders etc.) access to the floor of the hemicyle is limited to only four photographers, mostly working for the same four big agencies. Individual photographers and those working for smaller media want to have access too, for instance on a rotating basis. The EP will look into this request.

  • Censoring speech: API has a problem with the decision taken by the Parliament in december last year, giving the president of the EP not only the power to cut off an MEP/speaker in case he/she misbehaves or voices offensive, racist or otherwise objectionale language, but also to cut off the transmission of this speech by EbS or Europarl-tv to the outside world. This means journalists following the proceedings from outside the EP premises will be at a disadvantage compared to those working in the hemicyle. API stresses that in any case the recordings of this kind of event, including the disputed speech, should be archived for later reference by journalists. Otherwise they can never report factually about what has happened in an otherwise public session. API asks that for users of the archives it must be recognisable whether a video is complete and where something is missing, and also the written minutes of the plenery in question must be complete.

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IN MEMORIAM ROBERT (BOB) TAYLOR (1940-2017)

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Bob Taylor

It is with great sadness that API informs you of the death at the age of 77 of Robert (Bob) Taylor. As a journalist and foreign correspondent, Bob covered the European Union for more than 30 years, reporting on its performance, policies and personalities.

He began his career working for the overseas service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. He joined Reuters in 1967, filing business and financial stories from Berne, before arriving in Brussels in 1971. Bob headed the Reuters Brussels bureau for much of the 1970s, before becoming an EU correspondent between 1982 and 2000 for The Economist. Among his many media activities, he was a regular contributor to the BBC and wrote for The Bulletin, the magazine for the Brussels expatriate community.

Bob was co-author, along with Dick Leonard, a former colleague at The Economist, of the well-known 'Routledge Guide to the European Union'. He wrote several other books on the EU and numerous studies and reports for think tanks and EU institutions. During the 1990s, he was a much valued specialist project manager in telecoms and broadcasting for the EU, the World Bank and the EBRD.

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LÉNAIC FUND FELLOWSHIPS FOR YOUNG FEMALE EU JOURNALISTS

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Lénaïc Fund for Quality Journalism

Dear Colleagues,

Many of you knew and worked with Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt. She was a talented, much respected and widely loved Brussels-based journalist specialising in international trade. She died tragically young almost two years ago.

I am asking for your help in informing young female journalists from across the European Union about the Brussels-based paid fellowships theLénaïc Fund for Quality Journalism is offering. The closing date for the next applications is 18 June.

The fund provides a financial bursary of up to €5,000 for five months. Its second placement begins in October 2017.

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MEDIA PREPARATIONS FOR ESTONIAN EU PRESIDENCY

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MEDIA INFORMATION ESTONIAN EU PRESIDENCY

The API Bureau had a meeting on May 18th with spokespeople of the permanent representation of Estonia to the EU about the media-preparations for the upcoming Estonian EU presidency.

Main points from our meeting are:

  • All informal ministerial meetings will be held in the Tallinn Creative Hub, a former power plant transformed into a cultural hotspot, on the edge of Tallinns old town

  • A special informal 'Digital Summit' of EU-leaders will be held in Tallinn at the end of September or in early October.

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API CONDEMNS COMMISSION MISINFORMATION, SCHINAS REJECTS CRITICISM

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API has complained to European Commission chief spokesperson Margaritis Schinas about the way he responded earlier this week to questions about the so-called glyphosate-issue. API President Tom Weingärtner wrote him this letter:

Dear Margaritis,

API is concerned about the way you have responded this week to questions about the Glyphosate issue. As a result journalists were misinformed.

During the press conference after the college's session on Tuesday in Strasbourg, an AFP colleague asked questions about the admission of Glyphosate and 'perturbateurs endocriniens', and whether this was discussed or decided by the College.

You then replied (quote):

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API OFFICE CLOSED UNTIL EASTER - LE BUREAU DE L'API FERMÉ JUSQU'À PÂQUES

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The API office will be closed in the week before Easter - from 10-14 April 2017

Le bureau de l'API sera fermé la semaine avant Pâques - de 10 à 14 Avril 2017

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API PROTESTS AGAINST ARREST OF DIE WELT-JOURNALIST IN TURKEY

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Today API-IPA issued this statement:

The International Press Association (API-IPA) protests against the arrest of the German-Turkish correspondent Deniz Yücel and asks for his immediate release.

Yücel was reporting for the German newspaper Die Welt and was arrested last week.

API-IPA, representing the interests of foreign correspondents in Brussels, is concerned about the restrictions for the press and the intimidations by the authorities against journalists. Under the martial law, introduced last July, journalists who are doing their job of reporting are criminalised as terrorists. This is an unacceptable assault on the freedom of expression.

API-IPA calls on the Turkish government to release Deniz Yücel and all other journalists arrested since July and to reestablish normal working conditions for the press.

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MEETING API-SPP - RÉUNION API-SPP

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On January 24th the API Bureau had its annual meeting with Margaritis Schinas and his staff to evaluate the workings of the European Commission's Spokespersons Service and the experiences of the foreign correspondents corps with them. This is a summary of the topics discussed.

  • Journalists receive priority access to the Berlaymont scanners in the specific press lanes during the hours of 10.00 and 14.30, and at other times if requested by the Spokespersons' Service. The sensitivity level of the X-ray machines is still in the process of being fine-tuned, especially in reaction to complaints from journalists.

  • security personnel at entrances to Commission buildings other than the Berlaymont or Charlemagne will no longer register names of visiting journalists. The yellow badge is enough ID. But visiting journalists will still have to be met and accompanied by EC-staff in those buildings.

  • links to the online "Upcoming Events", which contains the stable points of the agenda of the weekly college meetings and other upcoming college events are already included in the Daily News. The information will be highlighted even more in Daily News and other publications. The "Upcoming Events" will contain only items that are sufficiently stable to be published. The 'political' nature of this Commission makes it difficult to present a more provisional medium and longterm agenda, like the old Topnews.

  • Margaritis Schinas is willing to organize from time to time off-the-record/background briefings in the press room to present and discuss in advance the college's agenda and objectives.

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RENEWAL OF THE BELGIAN PRESS CARD - RENOUVELLEMENT DE LA CARTE DE PRESSE BELGE

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(Texte français ci-dessous)

Dear API-IPA members,

The Belgian Ministry of the Interior, responsible for issuing the official Belgian press card, has fallen behind in printing the new cards for the 2017-2021 period.

 

The Ministry has informed us that therefore, by a ministerial circular, the validity of the old 2012-2016 card will be extended until 28 February 2017.

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SAVE THE DATE: 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE IPC RESIDENCE PALACE

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On Monday 28 November, the Résidence Palace – International Press Center will celebrate its 15th anniversary.
To honour this anniversary, the International Press Association (API-IPA) is organizing a panel discussion on press freedom in Europe in the late afternoon. This session is followed by a festive reception in the Patio.

Please write the date in your agenda, the official invitation will follow.


Le Résidence Palace – Centre de Presse international fêtera son 15e anniversaire le lundi 28 novembre prochain.
A cette occasion, l’Association de la Presse internationale (API-IPA) organisera un débat en fin d’après-midi sur la liberté de la presse en Europe. Ce débat sera suivi d’une réception festive dans le Patio.

Notez dès à présent cette date dans votre agenda. Une invitation vous parviendra ultérieurement.

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DEBATE ABOUT CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS

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The Association of European Journalists (AEJ) together with the Italian NGO Ossigeno per l'Informazione and the Press Club Brussels Europe organizes a debate on Thursday 27 October on occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI), 2 November.

Over 800 journalists were killed in the past 10 years in the world. In nearly all these cases their killers have never been brought to justice.

The event will consist of two sessions: the first one a panel debate on the geography of violence perpetrated against journalists in all its possible forms and how it has an impact on the work of fellow journalists. A second session will be centered on an Italian case and the work of Ossigeno per l’Informazione (Oxygen for Information) which has uncovered the cases of thousands of journalists, bloggers, photo and video reporters, who have been victims of intimidation, threats and abuse in Italy.

For more info, see http://tinyurl.com/zcvuz95

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IFJ CONFERENCE ABOUT IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS

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To mark 2016 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) will organise a half-day conference on 7 November in Brussels on "Turning words into action".

According to IFJ statistics 112 journalists lost their lives when carrying out their duties in 2015. Today only one out of 10 killings in the media is investigated.

The conference will focus on concrete actions that can be put in place to end impunity for journalists' killers.

Location: Salle Maelbeek, Résidence Palace.

 

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API CONDEMNS CLOSING OF HUNGARIAN PAPER 'NÉPSZABADSÁG'

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The International Press Association (API-IPA) is concerned about the closing down of the Hungarian daily 'Népszabadság' last week. The voice of the Brussels press corps expresses its solidarity with the Hungarian collegues who might lose their work.
As 'Népszabadság' has been one of the media independent of the Hungarian government, without this newspaper, the ruling Fidesz-party will consolidate further its control over the Hungarian media. API-IPA deplores this new step towards a
media system that is incompatible with the principles of democracy and a pluralistic Hungarian society.

Brussels journalists expect the European Commission to investigate the circumstances that led to the end of one of the oldest and most respected papers in an EU-member state.

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L'Association de la Presse Internationale (API-IPA) est préoccupé par la fermeture du quotidien hongrois 'Népszabadság' la semaine dernière. La voix de la presse internationale à Bruxelles exprime sa solidarité avec les collègues hongrois qui pourraient perdre leur travail.

Comme 'Népszabadság' a été l'un des médias indépendant du gouvernement hongrois, sans ce journal le parti au pouvoir Fidesz peut consolider son contrôle sur les médias hongrois. API-IPA déplore cette nouvelle étape vers un système médiatique qui est incompatible avec les principes de la démocratie et avec une société hongroise pluraliste.

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YOUNG CORRESPONDENTS INVITED TO MEDIA-FORUM IN ST. PETERSBURG (RUSSIA)

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The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia) and the Mediacongress Commonwealth of Journalists is inviting young journalists to attend the XIth Media Forum for young journalists from Eurasia which will be held in the Hermitage Museum on 22 and 23 November 2016.

Young correspondents, editors, photographers, bloggers, directors and media-experts will then be able to take part in a 'Dialogue of Cultures' event, in which they can share experiences, debate issues and network with about 200 other young journalists and journalism students from Russia and from all over Europe.

Young correspondents interested in participating should go to http://mediacongress.ru/en, where they will find all information about the program, applications forms, and other practical information.

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API OFFICE CLOSED FRIDAY 7 OCTOBER

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The API office will be closed this Friday 7 October. We will be present again on Monday 10 October from 9:30 AM.

Le bureau de l'API sera fermé ce vendredi 7 Octobre. Nous sommes ouvert à nouveau le lundi 10 Octobre dès 9h30.

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THE GUARDIAN-CORRESPONDENT IAN TRAYNOR DIES

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The International Press Association (API-IPA) is deeply saddened by the passing away of Ian Traynor, veteran Brussels correspondent for The Guardian. Ian (60) died this weekend after a short illness. He will be remembered as a very well respected and much liked colleague. API-IPA expresses its condolences to Ian's family and friends. A minute of silence in his memory was held in the European Commission press rooom this Monday.

Ian will be cremated on Saturday September 3rd 11:00-11:30am at the Crematorium Uccle, Avenue du Silence 61 in Brussels. This will be followed by a reception in reataurant L'Atelier, Rue Franklin 28, from 12:00-17:00h. All colleagues are invited to attend, but they are requested to announce their presence at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , so that the family knows how many people to expect.

The family asks that instead of providing flowers for the service, anyone wishing to make a contribution in Ian's memory donates to the Cancer Research UK charity instead.

For an Im Memoriam see https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/aug/28/ian-traynor-obituary 

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SLOVAK PRESIDENCY PERSISTS IN 'NO LATE ACCREDITATION' POLICY

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Despite strong objections from API and many colleagues, the Slovak EU presidency sticks to its 'no late accreditation'-policy. That means that to be able to attend (informal) meetings in Bratislava, journalists need to have applied for accreditation at least three weeks in advance. The Slovak authorities require this deadline in order to provide their security forces enough time to perform thorough security checks on all applying journalists.

 

API has protested against this requirement, that journalists never had to comply with under previous presidencies, where late accreditation was always possible. But, in a letter to API, the Slovak permanent representative to the EU, ambassador Peter Javorčik, has informed us that the requirement will not be changed. See: letter_api-ipa.pdf

Accreditation will be valid for the duration of the Slovak presidency. Next to that journalists will separately have to register for each specific event in Slovakia. The ambassador informed us that the Slovak presidency will be 'responsive' to late or last-minute registrations for specific events, provided that the journalist has been accredited. But it is unclear what 'responsive' will mean in practice.

This means that it is necessary to apply for accreditation on the Slovak presidency website (eu2016.sk) at least three weeks before the first meeting you might want to attend in Bratislava, in order not to be denied access, like some colleagues have already experienced. So, in order to be able to attend the Gymnich-meeting of 2-3 September you will have to apply for accreditation NOW, immediately followed by the required registration.

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API OFFICE CLOSED - LE BUREAU DE L'API FERMÉ

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The API office will be closed this Friday 29 July. The office will reopen again on Monday 1 August.

The office will be closed for the summer break from Monday 8 August until (incl.) Wednesday 24 August.

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Le bureau de l'API sera fermé le vendredi 29 Juillet. Le bureau reouvrira le lundi 1 Aout.

Le bureau sera fermé pour les vacances d'été de lundi 8 Août jusqu'a mercredi 24 Août (inclus). 

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API PROTESTS AGAINST CRACKDOWN ON TURKISH MEDIA

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L'Association de la Presse Internationale condamne fermement l'arrestation des journalistes en la Turquie sous pretexte qu'ils soient impliqués dans le coup d'état du 15 juillet. Le regime de Recep Tayyip Erdogan se prend ainsi au media pour dissimuler son charactère autocrate et la liquidation progressive des libertés fondamentales. Le gouvernement turque craint les media parce qu'il a quelque chose à cacher. API demande aux autorités turques la libération immédiate et sans condition de tous les journalistes détenus!

The International Press Association strongly condemns the arrest of journalists in Turkey under the pretext that they are involved in the coup of 15 July. The regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes on the media to conceal its autocratic character and the gradual liquidation of fundamental freedoms. The Turkish government fears the media because it has something to hide. API calls on the Turkish authorities for the immediate and unconditional release of all detained journalists!

Tom Weingärtner

API president

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