IFJ: No hiding place for those who violate media freedom

media freedom

Brussels, 3 May 2016. In the framework of the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, journalists unions across the world have demanded that “there must be no hiding place for those who attack journalists or undermine media freedom”.

Launching a major new survey of press freedom violations in over 20 countries around the world, International Federation of Journalists President Jim Boumelha also pledged an ”unwavering commitment to pursue all those who intimidate, threaten or attack our colleagues, our rights and our freedoms”.

The survey – published on World Press Freedom Day by the IFJ which represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries – exposes the state of abuses of media freedom and journalists’ rights in more than 20 countries.

In its first survey of press freedom and trade union rights’ violations in journalism, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) asked its affiliates to report on the following categories: attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists; detention and imprisonment of journalists; harassment and intimidation of journalists; impunity; acts having chilling effect on press freedom.

Among the key findings are:

  • Most respondents report a worsening of the state of media freedom in their countries
  • Self-censorship is widespread as a result of impunity, physical attacks and intimidation of journalists.
  • In many countries laws enshrining the right to collective bargaining are being ignored or undermined by employers and governments.
  • Mobilising and organising within unions fostered positive change in journalism and allowed for concrete steps harnessing press freedom across the world.
  • Safety of journalists stands as a top priority for all respondents.

IFJ President Jim Boumelha said: “This survey exposes a shocking toll of violations of media freedom and a woeful lack of willingness on the part of too many governments and authorities to act to defend journalists. But as it also shows journalists’ unions are ensuring there can be no hiding place for those who attack journalists or undermine media freedom. Whether in print or on the airwaves, in courts or international bodies, on the streets and in the workplaces journalists unions are standing up against the threats to media freedom.”

Read the full IFJ survey

Read about IFJ activities on #WPFD2016

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is the world’s largest organisation of journalists. First established in 1926, it represents around 600,000 journalists in 179 unions and associations accross 140 countries worldwide.

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