By: Mark Fitzgerald
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), an association of journalists unions, is fed up with the state of journalism in the Old World — and on Nov. 5 it wants the Continent to stand up and say it’s mad as hell and won’t take it anymore.
It is urging its member unions to organize a day of protest actions, rallies, and celebrations to dramatize what it says is a crisis in European journalism, and to laud “the crucial role played by European journalists’ unions for the promotion of quality journalism.”
The day will be called “Stand Up For Journalism!”
Democracy, the EFJ says, is in danger from “this sick journalism.”
In France, unionized journalists are planning a public demonstration in front of the National Assembly.
“What is happening in France is extremely worrying,” EFJ General Secretary Aidan White said in a statement announcing the action. “We see a mixture of political interference, self-censorship, media concentration and precarious working conditions. This creates literally sick journalism”.
But all across Europe, EFJ contends, “journalists are confronting similar problems, including commercial and political pressure, commercialization of news, self-censorship, instability and attacks on protection of sources — and as a consequence, quality of journalism is drastically declining.”
Among the actions EFJ is suggesting its union affiliates undertake on Nov. 5 are lobbying public figures; creating a “carnival” for press freedom and quality journalism; a short work break in commemoration of murdered journalists, and “mass grievance at work where everyone puts in official complaints about their wages, working hours and conditions.”