The Polish parliament has recently agreed a new media law which journalist organisations throughout Europe fear threatens the independence of its public television and radio. The law allows the government to impose its candidates on the management and supervisory bodies of the public broadcasters.
 
The European Union is investigating whether the actions of Poland’s Law and Justice Party Government contravene EU law.
Meanwhile anti-government demonstrations have been held in Cracow and Warsaw. In Brussels, a demonstration in front of the Polish embassy was joined by among others the International Federation of Journalists to which the NUJ is affiliated. It says: “freedom to report and media independence are two essential pillars of democracy”.
 

Blendle, the popular Dutch pay-per-view news website, is now offering access to major German newspapers and magazines. Some 37 are now accessible, including Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, Die Welt and Handelsblatt. Over the next few weeks another 74 are coming online. One major exception is Bild, which according to Blendle fouder Alexander Klöpping, does not believe in the Blendle pay model. Blendle say that their online kiosk does not take readers away from the print editions, but reaches a target audience which hitherto did not read newspapers and magazines.

Source: Blendle voegt Duitse kranten en tijdschriften toe aan zijn kiosk

Despite negligible coverage in the mainstream media, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has become one of the hottest topics in activist circles today. The prospect of sacrificing our most cherished labour, social and environmental rights on the altar of free market fundamentalism has inspired an unprecedented resistance movement.

Read more: TTIP: time for action, by John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want.

Frederike Geerdink, a Dutch correspondent based in Diyarbakir, Turkey, has been deported by Turkish authorities after being detained two days for reporting on a Kurdish group protesting clashes between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants and the Turkish military. The Turkish authorities are accusing the Dutch reporter of “hindering a military operation and supporting a terrorist organisation”.

Geerdink lived Turkey since 2006 and has been based in Diyarbakir since 2012 where she writes about Turkish and Kurdish matters for Dutch and international media as well as a critical Turkish online news media Diken.com.tr. In a recent interview, the deported journalist vows to return to Turkey “as soon as possible”.

Both the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) and European Federation of Journalists have vigorously protested this attack on journalist's rights.

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Good news for the self-employed in the Netherlands: the proposed system for replacing the Verklaring Arbeids Relatie winst-uit-onderneming (VAR-wuo) has just been scrapped. Meant to have been introduced this year, the new system was intended to make it more difficult for firms, especially those in the building and healthcare sectors, to sack permanent employees and then hire them back in as ZZP-ers for less money. However, the new scheme would have created substantial additional paperwork for freelancers and there was a strong lobby against it.

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