World Press Freedom Day 2006 - 'There Can Be No Press Freedom if Journalists Exist in Conditions of Corruption Poverty or Fear'

Statement of the International Federation of Journalists

Today journalists’ unions around the world celebrate the struggle for press freedom and they show their solidarity with colleagues at home and abroad who sacrifice themselves daily for the people’s right to know, for democracy and for respect of fundamental rights.

On this day, the IFJ, the world’s largest journalists’ group, reaffirms that the cause of world development and of the eradication of world poverty depends on the existence of free media and the exercise of independent journalism in safe and secure conditions.

Freedom of the press empowers the poor and disadvantaged by giving them a voice, it is the lifeblood of democracy by holding governments and those who exercise power to account, and it creates confidence in the future by exposing corruption and intolerance.

Today the IFJ calls for action to remove all obstacles to press freedom around the world. In particular, we urge:

Support for independent journalists’ unions who can defend press freedom by providing a collective voice, independent of government and corporate power, and that can speak for the profession;

Action in defence of quality media and a culture of press freedom in which ethical conduct, effective self-regulation, and safety and protection of media staff have priority and in which all obstacles to independent journalism are eradicated;

Recognition that labour rights are a press freedom issue. Professionalism in media depends upon decent work and social justice in journalism. It is only through fair wages and working conditions that journalists can practice ethical journalism and reject corruption.

The IFJ sends a message of solidarity to journalists everywhere. We demand that those in jail or facing trial for their profession are set free; we insist that the international community acts against impunity to end the targeting and killing of journalists, and we pledge our support for global solidarity among journalists in every corner of the world.

Our approach is not new. Indeed, the IFJ and its affiliates have been saying this since we were founded in 1926. Our motto – There can be no press freedom if journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear – remains a core statement of our belief that the campaign for rights of journalists must be the centrepiece of the struggle for press freedom around the world.

Read the statement in ARABIC

For further information contact the IFJ: +32 2 235 2200

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries