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Global unions launch campaign to ensure journalism’s future

THE INTERNATIONAL Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and UNI Global Union have announced an effort to push governments to adopt emergency rescue packages for the print media industry as a whole (journalism, publishing, printing and distribution) as well as introduce a digital services tax on tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook who have diverted advertising revenue from media outlets.

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The appeal references a report that in 2018 Google earned $4.7 billion from news - money not shared with the journalists who produced it.

Measures to deal with this "value gap" will include effective enforcement of the right of newspapers to claim payment - and give journalists a fair share - in the EU Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. That, we fear, may depend on a further EU measure on Digital Services.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger warned:

The current global health crisis is significantly increasing the great difficulties facing the print media sector. Governments need to react urgently. The sector is a public good and a crucial pillar of our democracies. Governments are well aware of this. Indeed, with the covid-19 crisis they have identified the sector as essential. Today, they cannot just watch the ship sink from their balconies.

Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, said:

The health of our democracies rests on holding people in power accountable, and journalists are the ones who, more often than not, shine a spotlight on political and corporate power abuses of the public trust. Print media plays a huge part in disseminating this information and supporting the online components of journalism.

The IFJ and UNI have adopted a joint appeal addressed to National Governments titled Rescue and future survival package for the print media industry (PDF here. Unions who are members of these federations will use these points lobbying for support for the news media.