The Charter on Journalists Working Conditions, developed by the European Federation of Journalists together with the South East European journalists’ organizations was launched in Belgrade during a press conference on 12 February 2019 following a meeting of the LAREG + Group - a platform set up by EFJ for exchanging best practices between EU and its candidate countries on journalists’ working conditions.
The project was implemented as part of the UNESCO EU-funded Project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey”. The main objective of this project is to improve the internal governance of media organizations based on the commitment of media owners and editors to respect clearly defined professional and labour standards.
Fourteen journalists’ organization representatives affiliated to the EFJ and leading journalists’ unions from Western Balkans and Turkey signed that Charter. The document is now open for signature to all journalists’ organizations, private or public media companies or authorities willing to commit to improve the working conditions and reinforce the labor rights of journalists and media workers in Europe, to fight against censorship and to promote free access to information and sources.
“The charter condenses in 10 articles the main values that private or public authorities should respect when dealing with journalists. The document covers the main principles affecting the working relationship between journalists, their employers and the public opinion and we hope it will become a benchmark for assessing the working conditions of journalists,” said Mehmet Koksal Project officer at the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).
Article 1 of the Declaration for instance recalls that “Any journalist or media worker has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions or professional associations for the protection of his/her interests (as foreseen by the article 11 of ECHR). A report on company recognition of the right to exercise freedom of association and actions taken by company in line with its legal obligations is presumed by the signature of this charter. Journalists have the right to organize themselves in representative structures, such as workers commissions and newsrooms councils, and to discuss labor and editorial matters with the company leadership, and to have access to documents and information that are useful to promote working conditions in newsrooms.”