World Journalists Back 24 hours Strike by Greek Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists and its European regional group has called today on journalists throughout Europe to give their backing to strikes being called in Greek newspapers and audiovisual newsrooms on February 7 in response to a wave of sackings and a crisis of quality in the Greek media.

"This is the second time within two months that Greek journalists and other media workers will go on a strike. This reflects the strong will to defend jobs and to demand higher quality in media content in Greece," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ and the European Federation of Journalists, "Journalists throughout Europe strongly support this campaign."

The Greek journalists in coordination with all trade unions in the media field have launched a campaign under the motto "The News is Not a Commodity, Journalists Are Not Disposable" to highlight the growing concern within journalism that employers are looking for drastic cuts in news services to confront economic difficulties. "Cutting down on quality will not solve short-term financial problems," says the IFJ, "If anything this will only make matters worse."

The Greek journalists are members of the Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers and Radio-television, which has in recent months led a series of actions to highlight the complex problems facing journalists and mass media workers in Greece. Fierce competition between media outlets and cost-cutting in newsrooms has led to numerous violations of existing collective agreements and job cuts leading to what the union perceives to be a disastrous fall in quality of media content. The 24 hours strike on Thursday, February 7 will be nation-wide.

Journalists' unions in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom have all recently been in the forefront of actions to defend existing standards in the face of employer intransigence and a widespread economic crisis that is affecting media throughout Europe, says the IFJ.

The IFJ and EFJ are calling on all their affiliates to back the Greek action. "The struggle facing Greek colleagues affects all of us," says the IFJ. "We support their strike and will do what we can to ensure that they win through."