Laupäev, 8. märts 2014

Journalists and Media Associations Tell EU Policy Makers to Defend the Right to Inform the Public

Journalists and Media Associations Tell EU Policy Makers to Defend the Right to Inform the Public

(7 March, Brussels) EFJ, the European Federation of Journalists, ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association, and EPC, the European Publishers’ Council, have launched a joint petition calling on EU policy-makers to defend their right to inform the public in the EU data protection law reform.

Journalists and press publishers play a crucial role in our democratic society informing citizens about important issues of public interest. A key part of this work is investigative journalism, which has resulted in unearthing countless revelations of concern to our society and which remains a vital part of the process of holding those in power to account.

Professional secrecy is a cardinal principle of journalism and requires that journalists protect the anonymity of the source of information including sensitive data obtained in confidence. Journalists and press publishers are guided by this professional ethics to take great risks as well as responsibilities to publish information that is in the public interest.

The group has warned that  press and journalistic freedom will be under threat if journalists and press publishers are being punished by using certain data in their investigative reporting. They further warned that (self) censorship will become a common practice if the EU adopts either proposals awaiting vote in the European Parliament or those currently under discussion in the Council of Ministers, to amend a draft European General Data Protection Regulation (Article 80).

They have explained that the final text would restrict the possibility for journalists and publishers to serve the public interest and fulfill their democratic mission as regards being able to investigate, report, write and publish editorial content without any obstacle, and to guarantee that sources are adequately protected.

The concerns of journalists and publishers have been adequately reflected in the amendments adopted by the Parliament Committees for Legal Affairs (JURI opinion) and for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE opinion) as part of the opinions on the draft Regulation, and tabled in the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. However, the final text passed by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties (“LIBE”) Committee has removed the journalistic exemption to process data.

The group has called on the support of journalists, publishers and all EU citizens to sign the petition letter asking members of the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and the European Commission to guarantee the freedom of expression and information under Article 80 of the draft General Data Protection Regulation.

IFJ nõuab naisajakirjanike vastu suunatud vägivalla lõpetamist!

Rahvusvahelise Ajakirjanike Föderatsioon
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07.03.14


International Women's Day: IFJ Demands End to Violence Against Women Journalists


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today marked International Women's Day by calling on media organisations and public authorities to confront violence against female journalists by providing a safe working environment for women in the media.

In November 2013 the IFJ launched a global campaign to denounce violence against women journalists and alert public authorities on their need to end impunity for these crimes.

"In addition to numerous cases of discriminations in the workplace including gender pay gap and glass ceiling, women journalists are subject to specific violence because they are women. Numerous cases of intimidation, sexual harassment, physical attacks have been reported and we cannot tolerate that those cases are perpetrated in total impunity" said Zuliana Lainez, head of the IFJ working group on violence against women journalists.

The IFJ calls on media organisations and public authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure that women journalists can carry out their job in full security.

It recommends, in particular, that media houses adopt specific policies (if already not in place) to fight against sexual harassment and bullying and accordingly set up in-house committees to ensure implementation in both letter and spirit, adopt proper and severe sanctions against perpetrators of acts of violence in the newsrooms and provide specific safety trainings for women on how to handle physical attacks and threats when working in the field.

The IFJ invites media organisations to take diligent action to address issues related to gender-based violence in news reporting along the IFJ guidelines for reporting on violence against women. The media should also commit to promote dialogue, both within newsrooms and the news, in order to increase social awareness of the need to eradicate gender-based violence.

The IFJ encourages journalists, their unions and supporters to express their concerns over violence against women journalists and demand an end to impunity for these crimes by posting on #IFJVAW.

Additionally, the IFJ requests unions to keep a data base of such cases and report them to the IFJ Gender Council for further action or support.

For the first time, this year the IFJ will be taking the opportunity to raise these issues and others impacting women and women journalists at the upcoming UN Meeting on the Status of Women (New York, 10 to 21 March, 2014, UNCSW58).

Each year the meeting focuses on a different theme. This year's theme is the Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. Along with other Global Union Federations (GUF), the IFJ is calling for equal access to work, education and public services, as well as empowerment and the elimination of all forms of violence, based on previous UN frameworks and agreements.

"It is essential that we follow-up the 1995 Beijing Platform's call for increased gender sensitivity in the media", said Mindy Ran, co-Chair of the IFJ Gender Council and the IFJ representative for this UN Meeting.

"The UN has long recognised the vital role the media plays in civil society and its impact on discrimination, violence and human rights abuses. These impacts can create harm through supporting the status quo, denying women their inherent human dignity and contributions, distorting the images of women, or making these crimes invisible through under reporting or protecting those who commit these crimes.

"Alternatively, media can act in a positive way through informing civil debate and the promotion of ethical journalism initiatives through journalists' unions and educational institutions, as well as to redress the imbalance between the sexes in the news and the newsrooms."

A joint declaration was adopted by the Global Union Federations in preparation for this event (available in English, Spanish and French).

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries