Asia-Pacific Journalists’ Organisations Call for Action on Financial Crisis

Leaders of 23 organisations representing the global union movement and journalists’ trade unions and associations across the Asia-Pacific region made a strong declaration of solidarity and commitment to meet the challenges of the global financial crisis when they met in Hong Kong on February 12-13.


The regional meeting, organised by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) under the theme of Organising in the Financial Crisis, included leaders of journalists’ organisations from Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, as well as representatives of UNI Global Union.


In assessing the current and potential impacts of the unfolding financial crisis, combined with the demise of the traditional economic model that has sustained journalism in the past, the meeting focused on identifying new opportunities to sustain and strengthen journalists’ unions and associations, as well as quality independent journalism.


In solidarity with the global labour movement, the participants committed their organisations to ensuring the voice of labour organisations is heard in local, national, regional and international forums seeking to address the financial crisis, in keeping with the Washington Declaration delivered by global trade unions to the G20 Crisis Summit in November and the Statement of Labour Leaders to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in February.


While focusing on organising journalists to defend decent working conditions and journalists’ livelihoods, the meeting also stressed concerns that diminishing advertising revenues and industry consolidation pose a threat to diversity of information and freedom of expression in the Asia-Pacific region.


Resolving to protect and fight for the right to decent work, the participants also agreed that unions and journalists’ associations will need to modernise and reshape the way they work, while media institutions must be encouraged to invest in the long-term future of journalism by building new audiences and wisely managing the introduction of new technologies and tools.


See Regional Statement Hong Kong 13Feb09 FINAL.pdf for the full text of the statement.


In addition to addressing issues related to the financial and media crises, the Hong Kong meeting also issued statements condemning the war on journalists in Sri Lanka and voicing concerns about new rules currently being imposed on Mainland and non-Mainland journalists reporting on China.


See Regional Statement Sri Lanka 13Feb09 FINAL.pdf and Regional Statement China 13Feb09 FINAL.pdf



For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries