Monday 19 July 2010

IFJ: 'Publishers are destroying quality journalism'

The International Federation of Journalists has condemned a call from newspaper publishers which it claims would mean more job losses in journalism across the globe.
The IFJ says a survey of the publishers' association, the World Association of Newspapers, is advocating more outsourcing and reduction of the workforce in newsrooms and describes it is a "manifesto for destruction of quality journalism."
IFJ general secretary Aidan White said: "The world's newspaper bosses, including many editors, are taking the knife to the ethical and quality journalism.Their strategy is simply slash-and-burn. They seek staff outsourcing, job losses and reduction of newspaper publishing. This is a complete betrayal of journalism as a public good."
The IFJ says that the bleak outlook of employers dramatically contrasts with that of the world movement of journalists which at the IFJ Congress in Cadiz in May adopted a report on the future of journalism - Journalism in Touch with the Future - which calls for fresh thinking in the industry and among unions and, above all, for a rekindling of commitment to independent journalism in the service of democracy.
It claims employers have developed an approach which gives a priority to the bottom line of business interests. On 12 July the World Association of Newspapers published their survey Million Dollar Strategies for Newspaper Companies which the IFJ says explicitly encourages "reduction of employees, consolidation of offices and printing plants, integration of multiple media staff members, consolidation of sub-editing and production units, shrinkage of newspaper widths and number of sections and reduction of publishing on certain days of the week".

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