IFJ/EFJ Call on Ukrainian Media to Learn Lessons Following Mass Journalists Walkout

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and its European group, the European

Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have called on Ukraine journalists to learn

from the disintegration of the TVi news room to establish trade union branches

before a crisis occurs.

According to

IFJ affiliate, the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), on Monday

29 April, 30 journalists resigned from TVi following the failure of the new

management to address their concerns following a hostile overnight takeover of

the company. 

The resigning

journalists have announced a plan to set up a new media organisation and have

asked for colleagues in the media to provide them with support.

"It is a tragedy that a compromise could not be

reached at TVi for both the new owners and the journalists who have worked so

hard to build the broadcasters reputation," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "While we respect the decision of the

journalists, it is sad that so many of them felt they had no other option than to


"As World Press Freedom day approaches tomorrow, developments

at the station have shown how important it is for journalists to join a trade

union. If a union had been in place in the TVi building from

the start then this situation could have been avoided. It would have provided a

clear mechanism for dialogue between both parties that could have resolved the

dispute before it escalated out of control."

The latest

development in the situation at TVi follows a strike organised by station staff

which began following an overnight takeover of the station last Tuesday, 23

April. The

situation began when journalists were prevented from entering the station's

building by armed guards when they arrived for work that morning.

Later that same day, the new owner and director called a general meeting with staff where they told journalists they could not comment on the situation in the station's evening news programme. According to IMTUU, it was this siuation that led to the decision to strike.

"We support the attempts of IMTUU to protect journalists' rights, but we also respect the collective decision of TVi journalists to terminate the fighting and move on to professional journalist activities in their new company," said EFJ President Arne Konig.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries