IFJ: There can be no press freedom if journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear

The Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) works to promote and safeguard the interests of colleagues in other countries. A main priority the next couple of years is a project promoting freedom of speech, safety and better working conditions for Russian journalists. This is in close cooperation with the Russian union (RUJ). We are also working to put the focus on freedom of speech in China before, during and after the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

We have previously carried out a number of large and small projects aimed at establishing and strengthening journalist unions and journalists’ rights in other countries.

Promoting solidarity

Since 2006, the Philippines have had top priority in our international solidarity work. The reason for this is the many killings of journalists involved in investigative journalism. When NJ celebrated its 60th anniversary, we provided financial guarantees for the establishment of a safety office in the Philippines. The collected funds will enable us to assist the Journalists’ Union of the Philippines for several years to come.

Freedom of speech and the safety issue

Through the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), NJ works actively to promote freedom of speech and to improve the working conditions and safety of journalists throughout the world. Among other campaigns, IFJ has pressed for a UN Security Council resolution on the safety of journalists. All UN member states are now obliged to investigate threats against and the killings of journalists.

NJ is one of the founders of the International News Safety Institute (INSI), which provides safety training for journalists in Third World countries and conflict zones, as well as insurance schemes and information.

NJ frequently collaborates with other organisations in matters concerning freedom of speech and other human rights issues.

The importance of Europe

EU legislation, international rulings and foreign media owners are making the Norwegian media world a smaller place. Whether it concerns openness, protection of sources, of privacy, labour laws or copyrights, we keep a close watch on both domestic and international developments. Through the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), NJ takes part in lobbying EU institutions and the Council of Europe.

Norwegian media groups own media in other countries, and foreign owners decide what happens in Norwegian media. NJ is a driving force for creating networks and meeting points between our members and colleagues abroad. With common ownership and common challenges, we stand together across national borders.