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INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS' NETWORK
IJNet - Issue #283, November 15, 2004

 CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS CONDEMN MEDIA OWNERS' "DOUBLE STANDARDS"

 Journalists at a recent conference accused foreign owners of media companies in Central and Eastern Europe of applying different working standards at home and abroad.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) organized the November 6 conference, "East Meets West: Social Dialogue in the Media Sector," in Tallinn, Estonia. Members of journalists' unions and associations from more than 20 countries drafted a statement calling on media companies to rectify "double standards" of wages and working conditions.

The statement says that press freedom cannot be enjoyed unless companies use good business practices everywhere, "not just in their home countries." The statement adds that EU enlargement is in some ways threatening press freedom.

The EFJ members cited unfair pay, lack of access to training, and the firing of union activists who try to organize European Works Councils international groups that represent management and staff in transnational companies.

The statement condemns German media company Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) for threatening to fire an editor at its Bulgarian newspaper for seeking to participate in EFJ meetings and European Works Council activities.

WAZ, which owns several papers in the region, has also been accused of giving journalists at a Romanian paper "directions about what the newspaper should write about, how should it write and who should [no] longer be criticized." According to Romanian media accounts, WAZ also threatened journalists who voiced the complaints (IJNet News Archive: http://www.ijnet.org/FE_Article/newsarticle.asp?Terms=&UILang=1&CId=249420).

"The EFJ calls for a start of serious social dialogue between media sector employees and employers in the new EU and other South East European countries," EFJ chair Arne König said.

EFJ: http://www.ifj-europe.org/default.asp?Index=2783&Language=EN.

 

source: IJNet283
published by: Daniela Mathis dma@medienhilfe.ch date of release on this site 17/11/04 

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