The European Federation of Journalists, the regional group of the International Federation of Journalists, today welcomed the adoption of a new press law by the Luxembourg Parliament as “a victory for press freedom.”
The new law, which replaces a 135 year-old legislation and was discussed for the last five to six years in the Grand Duchy, sets essential guarantees for press freedom. Among other things, the right to quote and protection of sources according to recommendations set by the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg have finally been established.
“This alone constitutes a major step forward. It is a sign that finally protection of sources is being taken seriously throughout Europe,” said Aidan White, EFJ General Secretary.
Additionally, and against the strong resistance of some publishers the rights of journalists have been considerably improved. For example, journalists can refuse the publication of a contribution under their name, if the publisher made major changes in the work. A clause of conscience has also been installed. Another improvement is the enforcement of authors’ rights again against the attempts by the publishers to introduce the Anglo-Saxon copyright law.
The EFJ says that this success is important following “disgraceful attempts by a big publishing house to bring down the board of the Luxembourg Association of Journalists (ALJ), a member of the EFJ, a few weeks ago”, according to Aidan White. Members of the board with the assistance of the EFJ had vigorously campaigned for this new press law. The new board only consists of journalists working for the publishing house Editpress.
The EFJ represents more than 250,000 journalists in Europe
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