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Hanne Aho new chair of Nordic Federation of Journalists

The recent congress of the Nordic Federation of Journalists, the network for journalists unions in the Nordic area, passed the baton to the UJF to lead the organization for the next two years.

UJF president Hanne Aho is its new chairperson. The federation’s vice chair is freelance journalist Heikki Jokinen, and its general secretary is the UJF’s ombudsman on international affairs Juha Rekola.

The Nordic Federation of Journalists was established in 1947 as a cooperative body for journalists’ organisations at national level. Its chairmanship rotates among its four largest member organisations. Organisations in Island and Faroe Islands are not obliged to take on chairing duties. The different national journalists’ organisations use the Nordic federation as a platform for exchange, and to coordinate their routine advocacy work and international activities.

The annual congress of the federation, held in Bergen 4 – 6 September received a report on the contravention of source protection by the management of the Norway’s public broadcast channel TV2. In January this year, the paper Dagens Näringsliv mentioned made mention of an internal TV2 report received from an anonymous source, to which only the management and shop stewards were privy. In an effort to trace the source of the leak, the management ordered that the shop stewards’ emails and cell phone text be scrutinised. This failed to uncover the source.

“Source protection is under enough of a threat as it is,” the leaders of the Nordic journalists’ unions said in their statement supporting the actions of the Norwegian Union of Journalists, which investigated the TV2 case. Most recently it’s been media managements themselves that have assed to the uncertainty over the rights of journalists to protect their sources.