IFJ Backs Defence of Media Qualification Requirement in Brazil

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) today backed the call by its affiliate in Brazil, the National Federation

of Journalists (FENAJ) for the restoration of the requirements for professional

qualification in order to practice journalism. FENAJ marked the Brazilian

Journalists Day yesterday by reiterating its support for proposals for

constitutional amendments (PECs) before the National Congress, which restore journalism

training and diploma for aspiring journalists.

"We support these demands which are in the best

interests of the profession and journalists," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President.

"The professional qualification brings young talents to the industry and

protects journalists from employers more interested in dumping down on

standards and working conditions than on expanding access to journalism."

FENAJ has been waging a campaign to defend the

labour law in Brazil which for thirty years has made the journalism diploma a

requirement to work as journalist. The campaign followed the decision by the

supreme court which ruled in 2009 that the requirement was a restriction to

freedom of expression and therefore unconstitutional.

The IFJ supports FENAJ campaign, saying that

professional journalism, as a public good, carries higher duties than the freedom

of expression in the general and failure to discharge them can erode the public

trust in media.

"Journalists have to be truthful, impartial and

accountable for their reporting," said Elisabeth Costa, IFJ General Secretary

and former President of FENAJ. "The public look to professional journalists for

credible and objective information. We would fail them if we deny training to

journalists."

On the Brazilian Journalists Day, FENAJ issued a

manifesto to the nation in which it reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of

expression and called for the support of the Brazilian society for the

restoration of the requirement of the journalism diploma for the professional

practice and the creation of the Federal Council of Journalists (JTC), a body

that will ensure self-regulation of the profession.

For

more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents more than

600.000 members in 125 countries