IFJ Outlines Challenge of Globalisation for World Summit on Information Society

The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest organisation of journalists, set out its action-plan for the UN World Summit on Information Society to take place in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, and called for globalisation to respect social and professional rights of journalists.

The Swiss Federation of Journalists (SFJ), representing the IFJ during the Preparatory Committee for Civil Society from 1 to 5 July 2002 in Geneva, introduced the position of the journalists during a working session on media professionals.

The action plan recalls essential principles for media in a global information society : respect of the rights to report for journalists and the rights to citizens to receive quality information, the protection of journalists and media workers, the promotion of pluralism and actions to counter concentration of media in the hands of a few powerful corporations.

In a context of growing globalisation and digitalisation, media professionals are particularly concerned by issues such as the protection of author's rights, the defence of public service broadcasting, secure working conditions and solidarity with developing countries. "A global digital environment should also be able to respect the rights of journalists, to ensure that governments fulfill their legal obligations and to support solidarity with the less technologically advanced countries", says the IFJ.

The IFJ also expresses its surprise at the decision to hold a summit on information society in 2005 in Tunisia, a country where press freedom is still far from being established. "If Tunisia has to be the place to hold such an event, then we expect the UN to urge the Tunisian authorities to change their attitude towards freedom of expression and workers' rights", so the IFJ.