IFJ Backs Strike By Newspaper Staff Over Media Reform in Korea

The International federation of Journalists triennial Congress in Korea has backed a strike by newspaper staff on June 13th over calls for reform of media in Korea.

Delegates from 80 countries at the Congress backed a strong message of support to the strikers and sent a delegation to join the strike picket line.

IFJ President Christopher Warren said: "This action is taken in support of calls for media reform and highlights the importance that journalists and media people are giving to the defence of independent journalism and it has our full support."

The delegation of representatives from some of the IFJ leading unions in the world was led by Vice President Linda Foley, the President of The Newspaper Guild-CWA, the United States based union representing journalists and newspaper workers. "We could not meet in Korea at this time without expressing our strongest support for the local colleagues taking part in this struggle," she said.

The IFJ has strongly criticised some newspaper owners in Korea who have accused the government of threatening press freedom by launching a widescale investigation of their tax affairs. "This is not a threat to press freedom, it is part of the process by which transparency in financial affairs is achieved," said the IFJ.

Journalists, mediaworkers and other civil society groups are campaigning for reform of the Korean newspaper landscape, but their efforts have been criticised by powerful newspaper corporations who have accused them of aiding the government's attempts to control the press. The IFJ and its affiliates in Korea have strongly rejected these allegations.