Safety, Diversity and Dialogue: Building Trust in Mediterranean Journalism

We

the representatives of journalists' unions in 30 countries of the Mediterranean

meeting in Cagliari from May7-9, having considered the economic, political and

social crisis facing journalists across the region,

Deploring violence

against media, pressure on journalists from unscrupulous governments, politicians

and extremists, and the neglect of media organisations all of which is creating

an atmosphere in which self-censorship is growing;

Believing that

professional and independent journalism, exercised in conditions of non-discrimination

and respect for core labour standards, is vital to defend citizens right to

know,

Condemning all attacks

on journalists by governments who use forms of legal intimidation and other improper

pressure to manipulate the work of media;

Condemning the

savage cuts in editorial departments and the violations of journalists' rights

at work by media employers who in the face of a business crisis have abandoned

the mission, ethics and values of journalism,

Declare

That

the journalists of the Mediterranean will work together to rebuild public trust

in journalism and to create new forms of dialogue and solidarity. In

particular, the meeting rejects the politics of division, manipulation and

intolerance and agrees to a programme of action in the following areas:

Journalism

for Diversity and Tolerance

Supporting the role

of journalists in building democratic societies and promoting peace,

reconciliation and sustainable development,

·       

The meeting agrees to promote the professional

status of journalists and to support ethical and professional standards in

journalism in line with the Ethical Journalism Initiative of the IFJ;

·       

The meeting agrees to support participation by

Mediterranean unions in the creation of a European Network for Diversity in

Journalism to combat racism, and to raise awareness of the need for media

to reflect all opinions in society, including minority voices.  

 Safety

of Journalists:

Recognising that the

safety and protection of journalists and media staff is paramount for press

freedom and democracy

·       

The meeting calls for the development of a

Mediterranean programme for the safety of journalists to provide information,

training and materials to reduce the risks facing journalists in conflict zones

·       

The meeting deplores the imposition of restriction

to freedom of movement in certain territories of the region as well as unjustified

and harsh visa restrictions and calls for the creation of fast-track procedures

to allow journalists to travel across borders for their work without

interference;

·       

The meeting calls all

governments of the region to recognise and respect the IFJ International press

card and guarantee freedom of mouvement to the holders of this card.

·       

The meeting calls on states within the

Mediterranean area and in conflict zones bordering the region to meet their

obligations under United Nations Resolution 1738 to protect journalists and

media staff working in areas of conflict;

Building

Trust Through Dialogue:

Believing that dialogue

is key to creating a culture of unity and solidarity within journalism and

among unions of journalists, in defence of professional and trade union rights,

and is also essential to resolving conflicts in the Mediterranean region,

·       

The meeting calls on journalists' groups in

membership of the IFJ to work together, to avoid politically-motivated

confrontation and to promote dialogue and joint actions to confront common

threats to the rights of their members;

·       

We note that the Mediterranean basin is still

an area of tensions and conflicts, in particular in the countries of the Middle

East (Israel and Palestine), and regret the use of information as instrument,

while its role is to contribute to understanding between people and respect of

human dignity and human rights.

The conference formulates a wish for the new

Union for the Mediterranean to resume the Barcelona process with more dynamism,

so that the south Mediterranean countries can benefit of the partnership policy

- in particular in the field of information -which is far from having achieved

its objectives.

·       

The meeting calls for

solidarity with journalists victims of the economic crisis and emphasises the

role of unions to stand together against job cuts and

precarity in the region.

·       

The meeting welcomes the invitation of the

Mayor of Cagliari, supported by the Sardinian Regional authority and the

journalists of Sardinia to consider establishing a centre to promote dialogue

among media professionals of the Mediterranean region and asks the IFJ and the

FNSI to follow up this proposal;

·       

The meeting calls on the IFJ to work with

organisations of journalists in the region, including the EFJ and the

Federation of Arab Journalists, to find new forms of dialogue at all levels to

promote mutual understanding among journalists working in areas of conflict and

political division;

Finally,

the meeting extends its thanks to the FNSI and the Sardinian Association of

Journalists for their solidarity in organising this meeting.

Cagliari, May 9th 2010