International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in collaboration with the Eastern
Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) and the Southern Africa Journalists
Association (SAJA) concluded today a two -day conference on the “Effects of
Globalisation on the Media Industries in Eastern and Southern Africa in
Johannesburg, South Africa,. The Conference brought together 22 journalists and
trade union rights leaders from Eastern and Southern Africa, to deliberate and
explore the current negative trends utilised by media conglomerates, as well as
the challenges that globalization generates.
“This meeting wishes
to draw attention to the media conglomerates in Eastern and Southern Africa who
do not consider the plight of journalists, despite the huge profits they are
making.”, said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office, speaking at
the opening ceremony. “Our unions are critical in shaping and setting a
progressive agenda for their members and to ensure that they fulfill their professional
responsibilities to the general citizenry” he said. He called on the unions to be more vibrant and
vigilant in defending the interest and welfare of their members. ‘We should
never leave the media agenda entirely on the hands of the employers” he
The unions in
the continent, he said, are still struggling to recruit more membership into
the unions especially bringing on board female journalists. The resource mobilization as well as the
daily battle that we have to fight in relation to the obnoxious legislation
that are continuously passed in many countries, with the sole aim of
suppressing press freedom. However, the
globalization issue has become very pertinent and we cannot wait any longer for
it to be addressed.
Speak at the Opening Ceremony, Dr. Dumisani Moyo, Media and ICTs Programme
Manager at OSISA, said that the topic of the conference is very timely, as this
affects all of us. Globalisation has many faces and ramifications including the
technological, cultural, economic and political aspects”, he said. He commended the Survey that has been presented
on the effects of globalization in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Swaziland
as quite outstanding and called on the IFJ to ensure that a publication comes
out of this survey to shed light on the challenges and effects of globalization
in the region.
of the Director of the FES Trade Union Competence Centre in South Africa, Gred
Botterweck commended the subject of the Conference and highlighted that a lot
of work has been done on the effects of globalization on the mining industry,
agriculture and others but nothing much has been done on the media. Botterweck
opined that the working conditions of journalists should be looked at as a
critical factor in the globalization context, as more and more journalists are
becoming freelancers. These journalists
he said, are not employed and hence do not have any social benefits.
President, Felile Moholi, said that the role of the media in the enhancing
democracy and good governance cannot be over emphasized. The media, she said must be supported in
order for it to perform its duties. She called on the unions to remain vigilant
in defending the interest of their members, most especially under the enormous
threats of globalization.
Program Coordinator of the EAJA, William Onyango Oloo, said that the effects of
globalisation has serious consequences on the media and journalists in eastern
Africa. He said that the media conglomerates have a disdain for labour laws and
have continuously exploited journalists, by actively undermining the
unions. The unions he said have be
completely weakened and in the event had lost their vital members.
and the regional associations in a declaration have called on the unions to launch campaigns to raise
awareness on the effects of globalisation, especially on job security and
working conditions, and sensitise members on ILO Conventions on the right to
freedom of Association and to collective bargaining.
The Declaration also called on the Africa
Media Initiative (AMI) and the Africa Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) to give
attention to the effects of globalization in Eastern and Southern Africa and to
promote social dialogue in the media industry by respecting the rights to
unionize in the work place to Collective Bargaining.
more information contact the IFJ at
+221 33 867 95 86/87
IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries