Government of Comunidad Valenciana
Management and editors-in-chief of TVE and Canal 9
14 April 2003
Dear Sir or Madam,
The International Federation of Journalists, the worlds' largest journalists' organisation, is concerned by the proposals for privatisation of the news department of the regional public broadcaster in Valencia, Canal 9.
This is taking place despite several months of protests by journalists and media workers in the region against the privatisation of Canal 9. Various groups of journalists (Los colegios de periodistas de Cataluña y Galicia, las Agrupaciones de Periodistas de CC.OO. y UGT, la Federación de Sindicatos de Periodistas y la Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas) have been reacting against privatisation for months and a common platform has been created in order to defend public service values at both regional and national level. The IFJ fully supports the Spanish journalists and media workers in their protests against privatisation and regrets that the Spanish authorities disregard the principles of public service broadcasting by introducing privatisation in such a core media sector as news services.
In addition to threats of privatisation, several journalists have recently complained about political interference in the news coverage. The IFJ expresses its deep concern about the situation of editorial independence of the news coverage in Spanish public broadcasting. An independent and quality public broadcaster is a core value of European democracies.
The current situation endangers the survival of independent and quality-oriented public service television and radio. In doing so it may damage a crucial democratic instrument in Spain. We urge all responsible people -politicians and media professionals- to intervene in this matter.
General Secretary, IFJ