On World Press Freedom Day, EFJ demands recognition of journalism as a public good
To mark World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, Friday 3 March 2013, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has underlined the need to promote journalism as a public good in an age of austerity, media restructuring and unprecedented commercialisation of journalism.
“We are worried to see that literally thousands of journalists have lost their work in the past months throughout Europe, some affected by job cuts and others being allocated to more precarious positions,”
said EFJ President Arne König.
“Precarious work and lack of investment in human resources have a major impact on quality of the information and press freedom”
The EFJ is alarmed by growing precarity among journalists, especially young men and women, which threatens professional standards, economic independence and their ability to respect standards of press freedom and pluralism.
Even in wealthy European countries, press freedom is an issue. The economic context is harsh, but it cannot be an excuse for neglecting journalism and its contribution to democracy. Under the pretext of flexibility and competition, public broadcasting is submitted to cuts, journalists’ pay is declining and collective bargaining is by-passed.
“You can’t get free media and quality news if you neglect the professionals who need to report, investigate and inform the public,”
At EFJ’s upcoming General Meeting in Verviers on 13 – 15 Mai, titled “Journalists’ unions in times of crisis: Fighting for journalism as a public good” delegates from 26 European countries will discuss the enormous challenges for journalists to fulfil their watchdog function.
Find more information on actions being taken by EFJ and IFJ affiliates to mark World Press Freedom Day at http://www.ifj.org/en/pages/
For more information, please contact EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 02
The European Federation of Journalists is the European group of the International Federation of Journalists. It represents over 300,000 journalists in 37 countries.