INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS' NETWORK
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:
"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.
published by: Daniela Mathis firstname.lastname@example.org
date of release on this site 17/11/04