by troubled media company Mecom to sell its prize German assets is a golden
opportunity to abandon reckless cutbacks and put quality journalism back on the
media agenda, says the European Federation of Journalists
transnational giant based in Britain
and funded by investment bankers, has bought up hundreds of newspaper
titles across Europe over the past few years
and has become notorious for enforcing tough editorial cutbacks and changes to
squeeze profits out of media that are caught up in major restructuring of the
industry. They have now been forced to sell German newspaper
publishing houses Berliner Verlag and the Hamburger Morgenpost to meet their own cash crisis.
obsessed with making profits rather than investing in the future of media are
not what Europeans need," said Arne König,
President of the European Federation of Journalists, the regional group of the
International Federation of Journalists, which represents more
than 260000 journalists in Europe.
The EFJ together with its German affiliates, the DJV
and dju in ver.di say the takeover of the Berliner Verlag and
Hamburger Morgenpost by the experienced editing group M. Dumont
Schauberg, is a golden opportunity to provide job security and
to reinforce quality standards in media.
"This is the moment to ensure that long overdue
investment is made in the newsroom ," said König. "It's an opportunity to put quality back
on the agenda and to restore journalism to its core role."
EFJ says that Mecom, led by David Montgomery , a former boss of the
British tabloid group The Daily Mirror, had provided a poor example of
ownership, serving only the interests of investors rather than recognizing the
special and important role that quality media play in European social and
democratic life. "We hope Dumont will now
install a long-term vision of journalism, which will focus on
ethics and good quality service for citizens," added König.
EFJ has monitored the policies of Mecom in Germany and the Netherlands over
the past two years and has voiced strong doubts over the Mecom
strategy arguing that cuts in editorial staff and
elimination of editing services, while saving on salary costs, would turn
out to be a dangerously false economy.
more information contact the EFJ at 32 2 235 2200
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in over 30 countries in Europe.