The Union of Journalists in Finland has today announced its withdrawal from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic journalists’ unions also announced their withdrawal from the federation at the same time.
“The reason for the withdrawal is that the IFJ has not been able to resolve administrative problems that have persisted for more than ten years. We are dissatisfied with the organisation of congresses and elections and the lack of transparency in decision-making,” said UJF President Hanne Aho.
The Nordic journalists’ unions have repeatedly called for changes in the way the IFJ operates.
“For instance, we have not received satisfactory information about the IFJ’s finances. The Nordic countries have been a major donor to the IFJ and yet our concerns have not been taken seriously,” explained Aho. “We hope that our withdrawal will encourage other IFJ member unions to demand changes.”
The UJF’s withdrawal from the IFJ will take effect six months after the decision to withdraw, on 31 July. Until then, union members can apply for an IFJ-issued international press card and use the IFJ’s membership services. The press card issued by the UJF is used extensively worldwide.
Nordic cooperation important
The UJF has been a member of the IFJ since 1956. It will continue to be a member of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).
“The EFJ’s work is transparent and beneficial to its member organisations,” said Aho.
The UJF is currently considering other ways of organising international solidarity work.
“Our members want to support colleagues in developing countries and where freedom of expression is weak. We will not compromise on this, but will use the money released from IFJ membership fees for solidarity work elsewhere,” said Aho.
“We are currently looking at possible models with other Nordic journalists’ unions. Nordic cooperation will continue to be robust.”
For press inquiries, please contact;
UJF President Hanne Aho, hanne.aho(a)journalistiliitto.fi.
UJF International Affairs Specialist Salla Nazarenko, salla.nazarenko(a)journalistiliitto.fi, +358 4497 29791.