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International Federation of Journalists celebrates 90th anniversary of its foundation

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  • Post last modified:08/06/2016
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M. M. ALAM

ANGERS (FRANCE): International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), world’s largest organization of journalists, is presently observing the 90th anniversary of its founding. 

In order to mark the founding of the IFJ in France in 1926 its President Jim Boumelha joined over 300 delegates representing journalists’ unions from all over the globe who are attending the 4-day IFJ’s 29th World Congress that opened here on Tuesday June 7th.

jim_boumelhaANGERS: Speaking on the occasion IFJ President Jim Boumelha maintained: “It is right we celebrate our history but also focus on building for the future. That means organizing young journalists and fighting for their rights, it means building strong unions that can defend and extend rights in an evolving media”.

The conference opened with a presentation by Kaarle Nordenstreng, the former head of the International Organization of Journalists and author of A History of the International Movement of Journalists.

Kaarle was joined by Michel Diard, former General Secretary of the SNJ-CGT in France, Vsevolod Bogdanov, President of the Russian Union of Journalists, François Boissarie, former first General Secretary of the SNJ in France and current IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger.

Whilst a look back is important most of the first day of the Congress focused on the future with the launch of a global survey of the state of unions with a focus on how to organize young workers in an evolving media.

Delegates from Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas discussed their experience of organizing, recruiting, campaigning and providing services for young workers starting out in a career in journalism.

Union leaders from Brazil, the UK, Sweden and Japan discussed the importance of strong unions in protecting journalists’ rights – both staff and freelance – and defending press freedom.

The final session of the day focused on plans for the next ten years, with the IFJ expected to pledge action on tackling issues particularly affecting young workers – low pay, precarious employment and the denial of rights at work. Leading union campaigners from Peru, Morocco and France will share their experiences.

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IFJ represents 600,000 journalists from 140 countries across the globe