Journalists for a Social Europe

The European Federation of Journalists today called for an agenda of reform in the European media industry to defend quality and standards in the face of unbridled globalisation.

"Quality journalism is a cornerstone of the European project", said Gustl Glattfelder, chairman of the EFJ," To build societies that are inclusive, tolerant and democratic, we need open government and quality public services - including public broadcasting and a free flow of information."

The EFJ wants European Union leaders to make transparency and open government priorities in the enlargement process. At the same time, says the EFJ, media must reinforce the journalistic mission to educate, inform and widen public discussion about the future of Europe. The EFJ statement comes only days after protests over a "politically vindictive" campaign in Luxembourg to force an investigative journalist to reveal sources of information.

"The media have a crucial role to play in exposing injustice and corruption while promoting inclusive and democratic debate," said Glattfelder. "Both media employers and political leaders must do more to improve the professional and social conditions of journalists and all who work with them."

On December 13, journalists from EFJ unions joined the ETUC demonstration on the eve of the Laeken summit to support union demands for full employment, quality jobs and social justice throughout the media of European Union and enlargement countries.

"Media workers and journalists have a share in the development of the European social model throughout the region", said Glattfelder, "today many media companies are expanding into the East with the intention of lowering standards and not building a European model in which all can share".

The EFJ issued a statement calling for a five-point programme for reform including:

  • Social dialogue between media employers and journalists unions at European level;

  • A Charter of rights for freelance workers that will provide guaranteed social and welfare protection for atypical workers;

  • Authors' Rights for all and an end to employer demands for journalists and writers to waive their rights in the face of new information technology;

  • A new pact for broadcasting to defend and enhance the public broadcasting model throughout Europe;

  • Enlargement strategies that will bring applicant countries up to the highest standards of regulation, social protection and concentration of ownership rules that prevail within the European Union.