On 14 March 2013 the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will
join with trade unionists and civil society groups across Europe gathering at
the European Trade Union action against austerity and for jobs for
young people, organised by the European Trade Union Confederation
"Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs in the past months, and many
more are forced to work in precarious conditions" said EFJ President Arne König.
"But what alarms us most is the total growing precarity among journalists, especially
the young and women, who are deprived of any job security. Such a disregard for
journalists is threatening the necessary professional standards for the
production of reliable and independent journalism as a public good. In both public
and private media, journalists are being asked to do more work with less
resources, and this is a direct consequence of austerity policies".
Ahead of its General Meeting in May 2013, the EFJ is
collecting data about redundancies and job losses of journalists, and the
preliminary conclusions do not leave any doubt about the scale of the crisis.
Spain is the main country hit, with nearly 4000 job losses in 2012, but even in
well-off countries like the Netherlands, Germany and Norway, downsizing of
media companies and mergers of newsrooms have a devastating impact on working
conditions and on employment.
In a recent resolution, the Council of Europe
pointed out that "many journalists in
Europe work in precarious situations resulting from an increase of freelance
positions, lack of respect for social rights and generally low income. Where
the journalistic profession is weakened by such circumstances, professional
quality and ethics are at stake".
"There is a clear relation between precarious working
conditions of journalists and professional standards", said König. "We call on
the EU and member states to fully implement European social standards, in
particular collective rights of journalists even if they are forced to work as
fake freelancers. At stake here are not only the working conditions for our
colleagues, but a system of providing quality information to the citizens of
Europe, reliable information needed in our daily life and needed to decide
on the future of Europe."
Brussels, the rally will take place at Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels
in the European area from 2pm to 4pm.