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IFJ members eye Turkey on "Stand Up for Journalism Day"

(IFJ/IFEX) - 5 November 2010 - Today the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and its members, unions and associations of journalists across Europe, mark Stand Up for Journalism Day, and adopted the motto "journalism as a public good" to rekindle the spirit of mission and solidarity in journalists' work.

"Each 5 November across Europe journalists stand up for journalism. They reject commercial pressure, political interference and attacks on working rights," said EFJ President Arne König. "Journalists are taking a stand to defend cardinal principles - authors' rights, editorial independence, the right to decent working conditions, and the right to trade union organisation. All of which are key to winning public trust in journalism as a force for democracy."

The Stand Up for Journalism campaign was launched in 2007 to defend ethical journalism, decent jobs and union rights. On 5 November, journalists across Europe carry out activities focusing on the challenges they meet in their daily work through debates, demonstrations or other collective actions.

In Brussels, the day was used to launch a solidarity campaign with the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS), whose members constantly face a climate of fear and intimidation. The EFJ handed over a letter of protest to Mr. Selim Kuneralp, the Turkish permanent representative to the European Union, and demanded his government release immediately the 50 journalists currently in Turkish jails.

The EFJ and its members say November 5th 2010 is a moment to revive commitments to media freedom, independent reporting, and public service values and to call for wider recognition of journalism as a public good. Without better working conditions and respect for professional rights, European democracy will not prosper and this is especially true in Central and Eastern Europe where journalists' unions and their members struggle to overcome political interference in media and a lack of decent work and social dialogue in the workplace.

"If the future is to be as bright as journalists want it to be, we have to force governments to respect our rights, such as protection of sources, and we have to force employers to end savage cuts in the newsroom which are turning journalism into a poverty-stricken profession," said Aidan White, EFJ General Secretary. "We also have to take our message to citizens and all levels of civil society. Journalism at its best is a transformative power for social progress. It is a force for good, in the service of all."

More on IFJ's Stand up for Journalism Campaign
More on IFJ's Turkey campaign

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