European Journalists Network
The European Journalists Network is an ethical association of journalists in northern Europe. Its main activities are to represent its members vis-à-vis press organizations and institutions, and to organize meetings and travel.
Membership is open to active journalists working in Baltic Rim countries. Public affairs professionals may join as associates.
The EJN acts as the Finnish section of the Association of European Journalists, a independent, multinational association that defends freedom of information and the press in Europe.
Activities in 2016
The annual Independence Day trip in December was to Tallinn, Estonia.
Several members travelled to Kilkenny, Ireland in November to take part in the annual general meeting of our umbrella organisation, the Association of European Journalists. The two main themes of the Irish congress were Brexit and hostile propaganda.
The Association's summer garden party was held this year in the Helsinki suburb of Toukola in August and was well attended.
On 6 March, the EJN executive committee published the following statement:
Last Friday evening, police took over the Istanbul headquarters of Zaman, Turkey’s largest circulation newspaper, which has been highly critical of the government.
Reuters reports that today’s edition of Zaman has dropped its criticism and published flattering stories on President Tayyip Erdogan. The paper made no mention of protests outside its offices on Friday and Saturday, when police used tear gas and water cannon on the crowd.
The EJN joins Otmar Lahodynsky, President of the Association of European Journalists, in condemning this repression. It is unacceptable to brand all government critics as pro-terrorist and to treat opposition as treason.
At the EU summit with Turkey next week, we expect the governments of the EU to condemn the seizure of Zaman and to demand that Turkey stop its attacks on journalists and press freedom.
The annual general meeting was held on 11 February at the International Press Centre, Helsinki. Adrián Soto was re-elected president. Bilal Dalkılıç Pat Humphreys, John Pagni and Violetta Teetor were elected to the executive committee. The membership fee for the year was set at €30.
Activities in 2015
The year closed with a Xmas party on 8 December that was very well attended and continued well into 9 December.
After a briefing on the subject in November, the executive committee issued the following statement:
The European Journalists Network is deeply concerned about the loss of free speech in Turkey. The closure of TV stations, the arbitrary arrest of journalists and the coercion of independent newspapers tell of the hazards faced by our colleagues.
Elected representatives should be committed to free speech as a guarantee of the democratic process. The legitimacy of government, the public good and other European values are not advanced by silencing the voices of critics.
We call on Turkey’s leaders to reverse their repression.
A delegation of three attended the annual congress, in Sibiu, Romania, of the Association of European Journalists, to which the EJN is affiliated.
The summer garden party was held on 4 June in Magnuskärr, Helsingfors. Attendance was high, the food excellent but the weather unkind.
In May a large group of members visited St Petersburg, Russia, travelling both ways by St Peter Line, with a day excursion by train to the town of Pushkin.
The annual general meeting was held on 3 February at the International Press Centre in Skatudden. Adrián Soto was re-elected president. Pat Humphreys, John Pagni, Sheila Riikonen and Violetta Teetor were elected to the executive committee. The membership fee for the year was set at €25.
Activities in 2014
In early December, members spent five days in northern Poland. The Polish Tourist Board organised guided tours in the historic centre of Gdansk and the resort of Sopot. The group also visited Gdynia, 14th-century Malbork Castle and Gdansk shipyards, including the new European Solidarity Centre.
In August an overnight visit was arranged to the Söderskär Lighthouse, off Porvoo in the Gulf of Finland.
A tradition begun in the 1990s, our summer garden party was held on 22 May in Maununneva, Helsinki. The weather and the cuisine were magnificent.
The annual general meeting was held on 6 March at the International Press Centre in Katajanokka, Helsinki. Adrián Soto was re-elected president. Pat Humphreys, John Pagni, Violetta Teetor and Fran Weaver were elected to the executive committee. Georges Hourani and Claudius Technau were re-elected as auditors, with Russel Snyder as deputy auditor. The membership fee for the year was set at €25.
Activities in 2013
The Indie trip 5.-8.12. was to Narva, reached by ferry to Tallinn on Eckerö's Finlandia and then Lux express bus. The setting was magnificently snowy but not too cold, and the town a historical revelation. On the journey back the expedition paused for the night in Tallinn and inspected the new Seaplane harbour of the Estonian Maritime Museum, as well as the obligatory Travellers Club and F-hoone. The return sea trip was on Tallink's Star.
In autumn a visit was planned to Vilnius but the travel connections involved proved to be too expensive or too slow.
In April the Association visited the United Nations Institute for Development Studies, Wider.
The annual general meeting was held on 5 February at the International Press Centre and attended by about a third of the membership. Adrián Soto was elected president. Pat Humphreys, John Pagni and Fran Weaver were elected to the executive committee, plus Denisa Udroiu and Violetta Teetor who will alternate, both being frequently abroad. The auditors are Georges Hourani and Claudius Technau. Russel Snyder is deputy auitor. The membership fee for the year was set at €25.
Activities in 2012
Our traditional Independence Day trip, in December, was to Riga, Latvia, reached by ferry to Tallinn, followed by an overland bus ride down the wintry Via Baltica. The programme, partly arranged by the Latvian Tourism Board, was acclaimed by participants as immensely interesting and enjoyable.
In June a small group visited "the world on an island", Helsinki Zoo on 22-hectare Korkeasaari.
In April, ten members travelled to Tallinn to attend the opening of the Hard Currency Bar at Viru Hotel, which had closed more than two decades earlier, when Estonia's annexation by the USSR ended. Some members also visited the recently reopened television tower.
The annual general meeting 2012 of the EJN was held at the International Press Centre in Katajanokka, Helsinki on Tuesday 14 February. Adrián Soto was elected president. Pat Humphreys, John Pagni and Fran Weaver were elected to the executive committee. Claudius Technau and Thomas Romantschuk were appointed as auditor and deputy auditor. The membership fee for the year was set at 25 euros.
Activities in 2011
The EJN's traditional Independence Day trip was to St. Petersburg. We travelled by sea on St. Peter Line, stayed two nights on Matisov Island and, among other things, visited the offices of the St. Petersburg Times for a briefing on professional issues.
In December the Association met the Helsinki Commission for the Protection of the Baltic Marine Environment for expert presentations on HELCOM's work.
In June, Tallinn invited the Association to its biannual Tallinn Maritime Days, part of the Cultural Capital of Europe programme. Activities were mainly around the harbour and Tallinn's new "Cultural Kilometre".
In late May the Association was briefed by the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF).
In early May the Association was invited by Linda Line shipping company to take part in its maiden voyage to Saarenmaa. In Kuressaar, EJN members were hosted by the Tourist Board of Saaremaa. Three days were spent touring Saaremaa and Muhu islands.
The annual general meeting 2011 of the EJN was held at the International Press Centre in Katajanokka, Helsinki on Tuesday 8 February. The membership fee for the year was set at 25 euros. Adrián Soto was elected president. Simona Drevensek, Pat Humphreys, John Pagni and Fran Weaver were elected to the executive committee. Claudius Technau and Thomas Romantschuk were appointed as auditor and deputy auditor.
Activities in 2010
In contrast with previous years, there was no trip in December to mark Finnish Independence Day. We were also unable to participate in the October congress of our umbrella organisation, the Association of European Journalists, held in Ordu on the north coast of Turkey. We hope that future AEJ annual congresses will not always be arranged around the theme of tourism.
In May, four members took part in celebrations marking the opening of the summer catamaran route to Tallinn. The Helsinki-Tallinn crossing is the world's second busiest ferry connection between cities after Macao-Hong kong.
Activities during the year were focused on professional matters rather than travel. The EJN took a strong interest in the controversial Hungarian media law, which widened into a broad and ongoing examination of legislation on media freedom in Europe.
The annual general meeting was held in the press room of the Pullman Bar at Helsinki Railway Station on 22 February. The membership fee for the year was set at 28 euros. Adrián Soto was elected president. John Pagni, Hee Sook Lee, Denisa Udroiu and Pat Humphreys were elected to the executive committee. After Denisa Udroiu had moved away, two new committee members were elected in her place at an extraordinary general meeting on 25 May. These were Simona Drevensek and Nikolai Meinert.
Activities in 2009
The EJN's annual Independence Day Party was held in Tartu, Estonia, after a journey there by boat and then train on Friday 4 December. The celebrations on Saturday evening culminated with a musical, the premier of “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, at Vanemuine Theatre. Seventeen members participated.
In November three members travelled to Maastricht, Holland for the annual general meeting and congress of the Association of European Journalists.
In May we visited the Åland Islands, at the invitation of its Tourist Board, travelling by ship from Turku (see the treasurer's blog). Ten members took part. Afterwards most participants continued to Stockholm, where some had interviews to make and others went shopping.
In April, a small group travelled to a hotel inauguration in Tallinn, Estonia. These events are a time-honoured way to meet politicians and business leaders there.
The association continued to act as a clearing house for information that members may have missed, in the form of an occasional newsletter. This mainly concerns events at a European level.
With deep regret we announce the death of Jorma Kujanpää, a fine journalist, a good friend and a long-standing member of the EJN. He succumbed to cancer on 30 March in Helsinki University Central Hospital but was working to the last.
Jorma’s long career began in the Finnish Broadcasting Company, which he left to give full rein to his spirit of adventure. He lived and worked for long periods in Italy and Spain, where he added to the list of languages that he spoke with ease.
He returned to live in Finland but continued to spend much time on assignment abroad. He had the manners of a man of the world and the thirst of a seasoned traveller. We drink a silent toast to his memory.
The annual general meeting was held at Hemingway’s Pub near Hietalahti shipyard, Helsinki on 3 March. Adrian Soto was reappointed President, John Pagni as secretary and Pat Humphreys as treasurer and international secretary. The other committee members were Hector Hernandez, Hee Sook Lee and Denisa Udroiu.
Activities in 2008
In late August, the Foreign Ministry of Estonia invited us on a fact-finding trip. Five members took part, meeting the top policymakers of the country, including the President, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.
In early August, members were invited by Viking Line to spend a day on the new, fast Viking XPRS, sailing to Tallinn and back.
In May the EJN paid a visit to Lithuania. A nine-member group toured the country for four days, staying in the capital Vilnius, the former capital Kaunas, and the port city of Klaipeda. There was an excursion to the Curonian Spit.
The annual general meeting was held at Hemingway’s Pub near Hietalahti shipyard, Helsinki on Monday 18 February 2008. Adrian Soto was re-elected president, his third term. Igor Baykov, Hector Hernandez, Pat Humphreys, John Pagni and Denisa Udroiu were elected to the executive committee. Eddy Hawkins and Nikolai Meinert were appointed auditors.
The association celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008.
Activities in 2007
The traditional Independence Day Party was held in Tallinn, Estonia on 5 December. By popular request, details of the proceedings have been suppressed
A press trip to and tour of the island of Saaremaa was held on September 6-9, organized by the Estonian Tourist Board.
The EJN travelled to Latvia on May 17 at the invitation of the Latvian Tourism Development Agency. Places visited during the 3-day tour were Riga, Siguldas, Liepaja, Ventspils and Jurmala.
In light of the Network's increasingly active travel programme, new conditions were drawn up to specify the role of the EJN and the responsibilities of participants.
In preparation for the upcoming 40th anniversary, a competition was held for a new EJN logo. It was won by Juanjo Galán of EFE.
The annual general meeting was held at Hemingway’s Pub near Hietalahti shipyard, Helsinki on Monday 26 February 2007. Adrian Soto was re-elected president, his second term. Igor Baykov, Hector Hernandez, Pat Humphreys, John Pagni and Jeanette Öhman were elected to the executive committee. Eddy Hawkins and Nikolai Meinert were appointed auditors.