28 Mar 2017 Lvl. 2
Resolved
Alert created on: 22 Jun 2015 Belgium

Chief Editor Anne Brumagne Dismissed for Criticizing a Restructuring Plan that Puts Business above Journalism

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
In Belgium, the regional Flemish government partly finances some independent news outlets focusing on local issues (including the free weekly “Brussels deze Week”) through the non-profit organisation Vlaams-Brusselse Media (VBM). The new CEO of VBM, Michel Tubbax, launched a restructuring plan that focused on business, marketing and advertising to the detriment of journalism. Anne Brumagne, chief editor of the free weekly “Brussel deze Week”, was dismissed in June 2015, after having criticised the lack of involvement of journalists in the internal decision process. The decision was taken in the absence of any editorial charter regulating journalists’ ethics and protecting the independence of the newsroom. Anne Brumagne had insisted on the necessity of such a charter. In the meantime, the restructuring plan has been partly postponed, and the CEO has been dismissed. But Anne Brumagne has not been reinstated in her job.
Resolved
28 Mar 2017: Given that an agreement settling the dispute was reached between Anne Brumagne and VBM, on 28 March 2017, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
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