IFJ Condemns Bleak Manifesto of Newspaper Publishers in Face of Crisis

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the biggest

journalists' group in the world, today condemned a report from newspaper

publishers outlining strategies for outsourcing and cuts in journalism across the globe.

The IFJ says a survey of the publishers' association, the World

Association of Newspapers (WAN), is a "manifesto for destruction of

quality journalism."

"The world's newspaper bosses, including many editors, are taking the

knife to the ethical and quality journalism," said Aidan White, IFJ General

Secretary. "Their strategy is simply slash-and-burn. They seek staff

outsourcing, job losses and reduction of newspaper publishing. This is a

complete betrayal of journalism as a public good."

The IFJ says

that the bleak outlook of employers dramatically contrasts with that of the world movement of journalists which at the IFJ Congress in Cadiz

in May adopted a report on the future of journalism - Journalism in Touch

with the Future - which calls for fresh thinking in the industry and among

unions and, above all, for a rekindling of commitment to independent journalism

in the service of democracy.  


employers have developed an approach which gives a priority to the bottom line

of business interests. On 12 July

the World Association of Newspapers published their survey Million Dollar

Strategies for Newspaper Companies which explicitly encourages "reduction of employees, consolidation of offices

and printing plants, integration of multiple media staff members, consolidation

of sub-editing and production units, shrinkage of newspaper widths and number

of sections and reduction of publishing on certain days of the week".

"Not a word

about standards, about democracy, about the citizens' right to know - merely a

manifesto for cuts in the quality of journalism upon which democracy depends,"

said White.

The IFJ Report on the Future of Journalism by contrast

identifies the need for more journalism as new forms of communications emerged

across the world in the past years.

The report states: "New technologies have opened up fantastic

possibilities to gather, compare and draw conclusions from huge amounts of

information (...); however journalists are frustrated by the way in which some

media companies are denying them sufficient resources to take full advantage of

the changes." The report also identified ways to develop new forms of

journalism such as collaborative journalism, "augmented reality"

journalism, more investigation and more immersion in the subject of the


"But this development of journalism as a public good needs time,

adequate training, resources and commitment to the values of journalism as a

public good," says White. "Our employers have a blinkered view. They see only

the need for profit. They sacrifice quality, they cut jobs and working

conditions, they deny journalists the right to form unions. This lack of vision

and commitment to the future is profoundly destructive."

He said that journalists now see themselves increasingly divorced from

the media that appear to have abandoned the core principles of pluralism and

press freedom. "Democracy relies upon good journalism and our people are

determined to preserve it, even if employers have lost their way. It is up to

journalists to restore trust in journalism and to encourage new voices,"

said White.

For more

information contact the IFJ at   +32 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 125 countries worldwide