EFJ Urges European Politicians to Take Lessons from Hacking Scandal in Great Britain

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today

welcomed David Cameron, the British Prime Minister's call for a new,

independent media regulator to ensure quality and pluralism in the British


What started on the British isle as a scandal of the

News of the World, has developed into

the biggest media scandal of the post-war era. The phone-hacking scandal at the

News of the World, revealed corrupted

police men and the cosy relationship between politicians, police and the media.

It created an unprecedented crisis in British  politics and shaked the foundation of  quality journalism.  

"We welcome this long, overdue commitment from the

British Government to regulate media moguls and restore public trust in

journalism together with the professional organisations in Great Britain", said

Arne König, EFJ President.

"This Murdoch-gate could not better highlight the

need for two major objectives: first, we have all looked for too long into

media moguls dominating and influencing public life in Europe and thereby

damaging democracy and journalism. We need urgently a European regulation on

media concentration," said König. "Secondly, this scandal highlights the need

for a commitment to ethical journalism and a ‘conscience clause' to protect

journalists from ruthless employers.

Last week, the National Journalists' Union (NUJ), the

EFJ affiliate in the UK, had an emergency meeting to discuss the impact of the

hacking scandal after the closure of the News

of the World. Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ General Secretary called for

support of a conscience clause recognised by law to protect journalists from

editorial pressure to slant their stories to reflect the wishes of proprietors.

These developments will also have

a far-reaching impact on the media in Europe and across the globe. With the

question of media plurality being once again pushed to the forefront of public

debate, global corporate media ownership may be weakened and more diversity

could be ushered in provided that it seizes the opportunity to promote a new

discussion about journalism as a public good.

Under heavy pressure from the

public and politicians in Britain, Murdoch has to drop his bid to buy full

control of the country's highly profitable commercial TV operator BskyB.

The EFJ represents more than 250.000 members in

over 30 countries.