Asia-Pacific Journalists’ Organisations Call for Action on Financial Crisis

Leaders of

23 organisations representing the global union movement and journalists’ trade

unions and associations across the Asia-Pacific region made a strong

declaration of solidarity and commitment to meet the challenges of the global

financial crisis when they met in Hong Kong on

February 12-13.


The regional

meeting, organised by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) under

the theme of Organising in the Financial Crisis, included leaders of

journalists’ organisations from Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India,

Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, South

Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, as well as representatives of UNI Global Union.


In assessing

the current and potential impacts of the unfolding financial crisis, combined

with the demise of the traditional economic model that has sustained journalism

in the past, the meeting focused on identifying new opportunities to sustain

and strengthen journalists’ unions and associations, as well as quality

independent journalism.


In solidarity

with the global labour movement, the participants committed their organisations

to ensuring the voice of labour organisations is heard in local, national,

regional and international forums seeking to address the financial crisis, in

keeping with the Washington Declaration delivered by global trade unions to the

G20 Crisis Summit in November and the Statement of Labour Leaders to the World

Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in February.


While focusing

on organising journalists to defend decent working conditions and journalists’

livelihoods, the meeting also stressed concerns that diminishing advertising

revenues and industry consolidation pose a threat to diversity of information

and freedom of expression in the Asia-Pacific region.


Resolving to

protect and fight for the right to decent work, the participants also agreed

that unions and journalists’ associations will need to modernise and reshape

the way they work, while media institutions must be encouraged to invest in the

long-term future of journalism by building new audiences and wisely managing

the introduction of new technologies and tools.


See Regional Statement Hong Kong 13Feb09 FINAL.pdf for the full text of the statement.


In addition to addressing issues related to the

financial and media crises, the Hong Kong meeting also issued statements condemning

the war on journalists in Sri Lanka

and voicing concerns about new rules currently being imposed on Mainland and

non-Mainland journalists reporting on China.


See Regional Statement Sri Lanka 13Feb09 FINAL.pdf and Regional Statement China 13Feb09 FINAL.pdf



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents

over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries