News / 18.08.2011

Save Reijo! – the campaign for fair journalism

What and where?

The Save Reijo! campaign by members of creative media professions uses the everyday Finnish personal names Reijo and Eeva as acronyms for campaign demands for fair journalism and for the ethical production of photographs, texts, illustrations and graphics. The Union of Journalists in Finland supports the campaign.

The campaign’s website was launched 15 August at www.pelastakaareijo.fi. The website contains video slots, writings, posters and graphics in defence of fair journalism by well known professionals in the creative field. The campaign is also on Facebook.

Campaign events will be held 7 September at the Railway Station Square in Helsinki.

There will be a press conference at 15.00 and the demonstration march will leave the Square at 16.00. The march will proceed in front of the main post office, through the Sanomatalo complex to Parliament, where we will hand over the Fair Journalism Appeal. There will be a post-march party at Kaisaniemi Restaurant.

Why?

The Save Reijo! Campaign for fair journalism began in spring 2011 with the ‘Pro Freet’ Facebook group in support of freelance workers. As founders of the campaign, our group, which is made up of photographers, journalists, graphic artists and illustrators, demands reasonable concession rights and a fair bargaining position between the two parties of employees and employers and reasonable ground rules concerning all so-called entrepreneurial work.

The main newspaper and magazine publishing houses and publishers have presented freelance professionals in creative media with more systematic and extensive contacts to sign, the terms of which are unfair. These contracts demand that employees surrender such things as full rights to concessions and copyright without separate compensation, rights to modifying the material they produce and to their further sale, the rights to publish material in new contexts and, in the future, for as yet unnamed platforms. And yet the legal responsibility concerning any third party in the event of a dispute remains with the creator.

There must be no means of pressurising the employee in two-party contractual agreements, even though this has been practiced. For example, Sanoma News has threatened the cancellation of commissions if freelancers do not sign the agreement they receive – and it has followed up on this threat. Unfair contract models are also being replicated within the profession. Freelancers are not in a position to negotiate contracts collectively, as this is regarded as cartel-like activity.

The contribution of freelancers is the mainstay of magazine content. Freelancers are the fastest growing section of journalists represented in the Union of Journalists in Finland. The majority are self-employed photographers.

The unfair bargaining situation is not a problem specific to journalism. Self-employment and forced entrepreneurship are growing features of the labour market, affecting traditional creative professions but constantly spreading throughout the wider labour market field and employees’ organisations.

The new government programme contains entries on improving the position of self-employed people, which should now be appealed for during the new government term of office. We need changes to the law.

How can you help?

Join the online campaign and the day of action on 7 September.

Our team of volunteers comprising photographers, journalists, illustrators and graphic artists has been preparing the campaign throughout the summer. Now that the day of action draws near we’d welcome even your small input to support the campaign. Working together we can achieve much. We just need you to volunteer for the campaign over the next few weeks. You can volunteer by emailing reijo@pelastakaareijo.fi

All contacts are valuable – members of your own organisation and other professionals in the field, politicians, and members of the public interested in ethical consumerism.

Mobilise support to defend the future of journalism! With electronic media the ground rules of journalism are being rewritten. It’s now time to influence the sort of ground rules that will emerge.

Contacts:

reijo@pelastakaareijo.fi

http://www.pelastakaareijo.fi/

Facebook; http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pelastakaa-Reijo/238571662834219

 Information officer Elina Ström 044 208 9224

 

 

 


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