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Home arrow newsitems arrow ICHR+CoE Book+EFJ Head Gutierrez to E: Be Journalist is Not have a Card,but practice Good Journalism

ICHR+CoE Book+EFJ Head Gutierrez to E: Be Journalist is Not have a Card,but practice Good Journalism

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- For the European Federation of Journalists' Secretary General, Ricardo Gutierrez, speaking to "EuroFora" after an Interesting Debate at CoE's PanEuropean/International, 2 Days-long, Conference on "Press Freedom and Democracy", a real Journalist is not an individual who holds a "Press Card", but a Person engaged in Practicing Good Journalism and who respects main Principles of Press Deontology, as he stressed, in substance, in Reply to our Question, after  various Media-Experienced Experts, Officials, Press NGOs, Journalists, etc, had tjust taken the Initiative to Highlight that issue's current actuality.


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    + By a significant, Symbolic Coincidence, e was speaking, almost at the Eve of the 30th Anniversary of the Official Proclamation, by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as early as, already back since 1985, that, at the Modern Era of PC, Internet and other Huge Socio-Political Changes, the very Notion of "Journalist" must be revived and Re-Defined anew, in a much more Substantial way than in the Past, (See Infra).


    ++ Moeover, Gutierrez main View appears Strongly Supported, and Further Developed, also by a Landmark, comprehensive Article, just Published at the Latest CoE's Book on "Journalism at Risk" (ed. October 2015), by the Experienced Director of Ethical News Network, and famous long-time Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalists, Aisan White, (who had already spoken with "EuroFora" on this issue, as early as since at least 2010 : See also Infra).


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    - Ricardo Gutierrez, who already holds a Solid Experience from "the Written Press", after having "Worked during 23 Years for the (Belgian, French Speaking) Newspaper "Le Soir" mainly "in Brussels", spoke to "EuroFora" in the framework of a larger Interview on "Freedom of Expression and Democracy", (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/unfreespeechrapporteurkayaonrisksofbillsonradicalism.html )


    Invited by "EuroFora" to react on some Interesting Interventions made Earlier, during CoE's Interational Conference on Freedom of Expression and Democracy Debates, f.ex. from a Latvian Expert, mainstream Member of CoE's Commitee on New Media and Information Society, who even cited a landmark, Historic Decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, (See Infra), but also UNO's Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Dr. David Kaya, etc, EFJ's Seretary General appeared quite Positive, even if he approached the main Issue progressively ;


    - At First, indeed, Gutierrez simply Noted the Fact, as a matte of General Principle,  that "the Potential (of Freedom of Expression) should not be Focuse only on (Traditional) Journalists, but Everyone should be Protected, in fact, any Writer, we are OK about it", he agreed.


    + Further on, Gutierrez became more Specific, when "EuroFora" reminded in some more concrete detail the main thrust of the IACHR's Historic Legal Opinion on the very Definition of Journalism (See Infra), as well as the recent Fact that, f.ex., during the latest Deadly Massacte by ISIL's Extreme Islamic Terrorist BeHeaders, of a manly pro-Kurdish Popular Demonstration for Peace in Ankara, where Bombs had atrciously Killed or seriously Wounded Dozens of Civilian People, the only one to manage to have and publish a unique Video shpwing the Events, was a Non-Traditional Media using an On Line Website, which, even if it might have Acted as a Real Journalist and Considered itself to be a Normal "Media" like others, nevertheless, obviously had Not yet any Formal Recognition by the Turkish Authorities, equivalent to that of Traditional Journalists of the Old Establishment, and, therefore, could be Exposed to Dangerous Risks : In this case, f.ex., even of its Reporter's Life and/or Physical Integrity, since he/she obviously Risked to be Wounded or Killed by the 2 Bomb Explosions that he/she Filmd, even without having any worthy mentioning Legal Protection, equivalent to Traditional Journalists, who found and used, afterwards, that Unique VideoNews, while Comfortably Citting at their ArmChairs, at a Safe Office, quietly drinking their Coffee...


    - "The (only relevant) "Difference between a (Traditional) Professional Journalist and a (simple) Blogger is that the Journalist should follow some Ethical Rules", EFJ's Secretary General resumed from the outset, n Reply to "EuroFora"s above mentioned Question.


    - On the Contrary, "a (Simple) Citizen can Lie, why not ? Nobody would Blame hm for that. An (Political) Activist can Lie", while "a Journalist canNot. That's the (main) Difference",  Gutierrez underlined in particular.


    However, on this point, after "EuroFora" reminded Experienced Director of Ethical News Network, and former long-time International Federation of Journalist's Secretary General, Aidan White's recent Publications about Protecting alike Traditional Journalists of Old Media of the Establishment, and New Media Reporters who have Engaged themselves into Practicing Journalism in full Respect of main Press Deontology Principles, (See Infra, in extenso),    


    as well as the Scandalous Fact (partly Responsibe of the notorious Contempt that a Majority of People feel recently about Established, Old Medias, which hae Lost their Credibility in many Countries, both in Europe and in the USA, etc), that, often, some  Employees are given, by some obscure Bureaucrats, a so-called "Press Card", in fact, more on the basis of ... Fiscal Interests, (f.ex.to be Simply .. Paid by a Business named as "Media", and/or to empocket Most of their Money, each Month, from such a Business' payroll, etc), than according to the Content of what they are really doing in everyday Practice, (which might be, sometimes, even Ridiculously Irrelevant to real Journalism, f.ex. simple Secretariat or Technical job, a mere Copy and "Radio-TV Presentation" of Other Journalists' Original Work, etc), i.e. on Criteria of Real Journalism, such as Intellectual (i.e. Original and/or Investigative News Production), Sociological (f.ex. Risks Taken in order to Inform Society at large on Important Issues, otherwise Covered up), and Ethical, (i.e. Press Deontology, etc) Characteristics of what they are actually Producing on Important Topical Issues which Affect People's Lives and need, therefore, to be Clarified in a Pluralistic way for the General Interest of a Democratic Society, (i.e. near ECHR's well established case-law on Freedom of Expression which is the only relevant Human Right protected by the PanEuropean HR Convebntion's Article 10) :


    - "This is quite well known, I Agree with You" on this point.  - "That's why I also Agreed wit that (CoE's) Debate, on the Definition of Journalism, which has just taken place", inside the PanEuropean Organisation's 2 Days-long International Conference on Freedom of Expression and Democracy (See partly Infra), EFJ's experienced Head reacted Positively.


    => - "A Real Journalist is Not someone who has been given a "Press Card". It's a person who actualy Does a Good Journalism", in Real regular Practice, the Experienced Head of the European Federation of Journalists stressed in a Crystal-clear way.


    - In this regard, indeed, "there are several People who do Not hold a Press Card, but are actualy Practicing a real Journalism, who are Doing a Good Work of Journalist, Respecting the Principles" (of Press/Media Deontology), while, at the same time, there are also Some Holders of "Press Cards", who don't even Follow the Principles of Journalism, who are Not Ethical, who don't respect Press/Media Deontology", Gutierrez topicaly Denounced.


    >>>-  That's why, "for me, a Journalist is Not someone who holds a "(Press) Card". It's a Person who is engaged in Exercising that Craft, while taking into Consideration the Ethical Rules of that Work, and mainly its Deontological Rules", EFJ's Secretary General concluded in Reply to the above-mentioned "EuroFora"s Question.


     + "This is in line both with the Anglo-Saxon Vision" of Journalism and Media, wile also, "absolutely", Fitting "ECHR"s Case-Law", Ricardo Gutierrez noted in addition.


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A landmark Legal View officialy expressed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights "Unanimously", on the Definition of Journalism :
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Meanwhile, indeed, CoE's Committee on Media and Information Society's Member from Latvia, (who Chaired the EU in the 1st Half of this Year, from January to June 2015), after participating as Expert in "last week's International Conference on "Ending Impunity for Crimes against Journalism", which took place "at the Headquarters of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa-Rica", ("in the Presence of the Inter-American Court's President, even of the African Court for Human Rights, only our ECHR's President was absent", as he noted), made an Astonishing observation, during CoE's debates  :


- In fact, "a Problem that we (EU and CoE) Face Today, had been Settled almost 30 Years ago", by "the Advisory Opinion No 5, of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, decided already since 1985" (i.e. almost at the Beginning of PC and Internet's spread in Modern Society) :


>>> - "Journalism canNot be Confined only to those who are formaly named as such", by one or another Traditional Bureaucratic body, under more or less Controversial Criteria, "But now extends", in Modern Society, "also to Other NewsReporters, according to that Pioneer Decision of a prestigious International Human Rights' Court.


=> - In Consequence, Today, an adequate "Re-Qualification was not only Desirable, but also Necessary !", he stressed.


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    Indeed, that Historic Decision, taken "Unanimously" by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights,  strongly Condemns, inter alia, any "Compulsory Licencing of Journalists", (f.ex. the Requirement of a so-called "Press Card" exclusively attributed only by a Corporatist or State body, as a Monopolistic "Association", etc, similar to that notoriously Restrictive and often Arbitrary System Abused by some in France, etc., and recently Decried by several Journalists who even ... "Burned their Card" inj Public !), because it found that it's clearly "Incompatible with the .....Convention on Human Rights".


    + Moreover, in the Same way, f.ex. a Law which claimed also to Restrict even the Notion of "Practicing Professional Journalist", Only to an individual  "for whom (the) work", of a "principal, regular or paid occupation ...to practice his profession in a Daily or Periodic Publication, or in Radio or Television News Media, or in a News Agency", (i.e. without even bothering to see at all what CONTENT should have this "occupation" - SIC !!!...), "represents his/her Principal source of Income", (i.e. precisely as some notorious Corporatist Systems try to impose as another Restriction), was also "Unanimously" Condemned as "Incompatible with the .... Convention on Human Rights", at this same landmark Decision of the IACHR.


    - Because such Controversial Measures "Deny" to the Victims, Excluded by those Restrictions, "Access to the Full Use of the News Media, as a Means of Expressing Opinions or Imparting Information" to the Public, as the Judges of that International Human Rights Court explicitly Denounced in Conclusion.


     - "Journalism canNot be equated to a Profession, that is merely granting a Service", f.ex. only "throught those who are Enrolled in a certain Professional "Colegio" (Corporation)", "because", in fact, "Journalism is the Primary and Principal Manifestation of Freedom of Expression of Thought, .... which is an Inherent Right" of a person, "and has a Double Dimension  : Individual and Collective", including Both "the Right of an Individual to Express himself Freely, AND that of Society as a whole  to Receive Information", so that any "Violation" of that, Threatens also "to Deprive Society of possible Sources of Information", affecting "a CornerStone upon which the very Existence of a Democratic Society rests", since "it's Indispensable for the Formation of Public Opinion", and "a Condition sine qua non for the Development of Political Parties, Trade Unions", etc., and "the Means that Enable the Community, when Exercising its Options, to be Sufficiently Informed", given the Fact that "a Society that is Not Well Informed, is Not a Society that is Truly Free".


              +  That's why, the very "concept of Public Order in a Democratic Society, requires the Guarantee of the Widest possible Circulation of News, Ideas and Opinions, as well as the Widest Access to Information by Society as a Whole", and "is not conceivable without Free Debate, and the possibility for Dissenting Voices to be Heard", since, f.ex. in Europe, the very "Purpose of ... the Convention" on Human Rights "was .. to establish a Common Public Order, of the Free Democracies of Europe, .... Safeguarding their common Heritage of Political Traditions, Ideals, Freedom and the Rule of Law", as the IACHR furhermore observed.


    => In consequence, "Journalism is the Primary and Principal Manifestation of Freedom of Expression", and "the Thing that Journalists do, involves, precisely, the Seeking, Receiving and Imparting  of Information", since "the PRACTICE OF JOURNALISM ...Requires a Person to ENGAGE (Him/Herself) in Activities that define or embrace the Freedom of Expression", so that "the Professional Journalist is not, nor can he be, anything else, but Someone who has Decided to Exercice Freedom of Expression in a Continuous, Regular" way.  As for "the Circumstance, Whethern, or Not, that Right is Exercised as a Paid Profession, canNot be deemed Legitimate in Determining whether (a) Restriction" might be acceptable, since "that's Not a good enough Reason to Deprive Society of possible Sources of Information". "Unlike Journalism", "the practice of Law or Medicine, that is to say, the Things that Lawyers or Physicians do, is Not an Activity Specifically Guaranteed by the Convention" on Human Rights, and, therefore, it could be Restricted,  for "Reasons ... that May... Justify Compulsory Licencing of Other Professions", but canNot be invoked in the case of Journalism, because .... this could Violate the Basic Principles of a Democratic Public Order", (Comp. Supra), IACHR Distinguished.


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CoE publishes "Journalism at Risk" Book : 

- Big Challenges pushing to a ReNaissance ?

+ A landmark Article by Aidan White

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    The main thrust of such a Move was, by a Timely coincidence, reminded, reVitalized and Further Developed in an Interesting Book just Published by the CoE, in October 2015, and promoted these Days, on the occasion of this Week's PanEuropean/International Conference on Freedom of Expression, under the Heading of "Journalism at Risk"  : "Threats, Challenges and Perspectives", which mainly aims to "Tackle the Threats" that "Journalism faces Today f.ex. by "Censorship, Political Pressure, Intimidation, Job Insecurity, Attacks on the Protection of Sources", and other, "many Differend Challengfes" and "Issues surrounding the Role of Journalism in Democratic Societies" of our Modern era, particularly "when High-Quality, Independent Journalism is More Necessary than ever", according to the Official presentation by CoE's editors themselves.


    Inside it, among 10 Contributions from various Media Experts, including an Introduction by the PanEuropean Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, (Comp. other, recent Muiznieks' Topical Statements to "EuroFora", earlier this week, f.ex. at : .....), CoE's New Book on "Journalism at Risk", includes also a landmark, long Contribution by Experienced Aidan White, currently Director of the "Ethical Journalism Network", and World-Famous former long-time Secretary General of the Brussels' based "International Federation of Journalists, during more than 24 Years, as well as Founder of the "European Association of Journalists", one of the Biggest and more Active in the World.


     Titled : "Ethical Journalism : Inspiration for a Responsible Communication in Europe", this Aidan White's Article advances towards an Interesting Direction, at which "EuroFora" had already pointed, and briefly but topicaly Discussed both wih himself and other key personalities of the World of Media in Europe, particularly during the first Collective "Sittings of Journalism", organized together with main Press Associations, Editors, Journalists, Experts, Politicians, etc, initialy at the PanEuropean CoE in Strasbourg, as early as already since back on 2009 and 2010, etc.


    It was mainly about Today's Need to clearly ReDefine Real "Journalism", by partly New and More Substantial Criteria, which go directly into the Heart of the Matter, the Specific and more Noble, Social Function and Mission of Real Journalists, without limiting that, no more, only to some Old, Bureaucratic, Formal and Inadequate Criteria, which had become Inadequate in Modern Society, and linked with a well-known "Crisis" of Traditional Media throughout the Wold, both Economicaly, but mostly by grossly Failing to keep the Trust of the People in nowadays Democracies, where most Traditional Journalists are now notoriously considered to be Corrupted, Stupid, Misleading, and/or Subordinated Lackeys of an Anti-Democratic Establishment, full of Manipulation and Deceipt, which Today Hinders Modern Citizens' adequate Information, and has also become largely Useless, given also the New Technological possibilities for Free Access to News Reading and/or Making, as well as the generaly Higher Educational level of many Citizens than what it used to be in a Remote Past.


    In fact, it's also, at least partly, about the Need to ReVive the Original Spirit of Pioneer and Noble Journalism of Good Old Times, Bypassing a Notorious and Dangerously Anti-Democratic and Counter-Productive Decline, which has led to a scandalous Waste, Manipulative and often even Oppressive Misbehavior, while also trying to Explore and Seiize the Huge, untapped yet, Potential that a Creative and Productive use of New Communication and Information Technologies of the Modern Era have made Possible, for the First Time in History, mainly by remplacing Gutenberg's Printing Machine, with nowadays InterConnected Electronic Networks.


    In this regard, a Real Journalist, deserving at least an elementary Protection of basic Freedoms, particularly nowadays, is no more someone who simply gets, or not, a so-called"Card" by a Few Bureaucrats, mainly attesting that he/she would be Subordinated to an "Owner" of a Printing Machine Business Conglomerate, which might be still called, according to Old Criteria "a Press Company", and more or less Paid with the Money of exclusively that "Boss", mostly Regardless  of what he/she really does in fact. But, on the Contrary, a Person who is Defined mainly by the Content and the Quality of his/her Regular Activity, Dedicated into Searching, Finding, Elaborating and Presenting to the Public Original Informations about New Developments which may seriously affect People's Lives and the General Interest of the Society at large, in a way which strives to really and voluntarily Respect at least the elementary Principles of an Independent, Transparent, Fact-based Truthfulness, Investigative, Serious, Substantial and Fair "Press Deontology". (Among many others, Comp., f.ex. also : http://www.eurofora.net/deontology.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/digitalpress.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/webmedia.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pflimlinmitterrand.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coehumanrightscommissioneronwebmedia.html , etc).


    In other Words, to put it in a nutshell, (by using some well known and Inspiring references from the European and even World-wide Classic Civilisation), such Real Journalists are much more Motivated by the Noble Passion of a "Prometheas"-like Spirit, resolutely dedicated into Finding and Bringing the "Fire of Knowledge" to the People, even at the Risk of their own Freedom and/or Well-Being, as also by that of a Marathon Victory's "Aggelos" (i.e. a Messenger serving to Anounce Important News), who may even Sacrifice his/her own Life in order to Timely Bring to the People a Message of Vital and Urgent Importance for all, (f.ex. that an Ennemy Army is approaching and that they must Protect themselves Fast in the Acropolis' Castle, according to the Famous events of Ancient History). It would certainly be possible, and perhaps even better Illustrated, if we added some Equivalent Images f.ex. from Jules Vernes' Books, and/or other Writers.


    On the Contrary, at any case, in this sense, a Real Journalist is Certainly NOT someone like a ... Clerk of a Shop owned by a Corrupted Trader, or a Lackey of some Unscrupulous Politician searching to Manipulate People in order to get Elected by Treaching, Neither a Bore repeating banal Copies of Others' recipes on how to make People fall Asleep, and Never a mere Cynical Liar Aggressing other People in order to Harm them for some Obscure, Dark and Selfish Interests, (whatever Money he/she might have been promissed to be paid by a Thug, ...to say it harshly, but clearly).


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    - All this Fits quite well with the Fact described by Aidan White, in his above mentioned Article in the latest CoE's Book, (Comp. Supra), as, f.ex., the existence, Nowadays, of "Increasing Calls, from within Media, for a Fresh and InVigorated Vision of Journalism's Future, Based upon ReVival of the Spirit of Mission and Values". Because, he is Convinced that, at any case, "the Future of Journalism ...will Depend on its Ability to Serve the Public Interest, and to nourishthe Ethical framework in which a News is Reported"; (See : "Journalism at Risk", p. 200 and 220).


    + F.ex., in this regard, among various other concrete Cases, White cites that of even "one of Britain's Leading Political Journalists, (who) Dramaticaly and very publicly Quit his Job", "Accusing the Management of Censoring Stories", (f.ex. "about (a) Bank -leading Advertiser of the Newspaper- which was Caught up in a .. Scandal). Tellingly, be Broke the Story on a current affairs News Website" ! (Ibid, p. 208).


    A recent "Report" on "Untold Stories" yet, about "How Corruption and Conflicts of Interests Stalk the NewsRoom", "covering 18 Countries", and "Launched on March 2015" by "The Ethical Journalism Network", following the above mentioned affair, "Opened up a Debate about these Problems", including, f.ex., how Traditional "Business Models .. based on Good Journalism", were "Undermined", Contrary to "Those who see Media as a route to Profit or Political Influence", with plenty of "Dark Arts... everywhere", "Deals with Advertisers to carry Paid-for material Disguised as Honest News", "Reporters accepting Bribes", "Hidden ... Dodgy Practices", "Betrayal of Ethical Principles", "News Media Overwhelmed by Political and Corporate Interest groups", "Irregular Payments", "a Culture of Dependence on Political and Corporate <<Friends>>, that makes it increasingly Difficult to Separate Journalism from Propaganda, and Impartial Reporting from <<Public Relations>>", etc. "Although the Major Threats come from Outside Media, with (some) Governments, Unscrupulous Politicians,", etc, neverheless, "also ...many of Today's Media Owners ...Buy into Journalism ..mostly to Promote their Own Businesses and Political Agenda", so that "Journalism is Compromised by Politicians and Owners", particularly there "where Media are on the Front Line of Tough Political Battles", (f.ex. on "Turkey", etc), while, f.ex. "in Ukraine, the practice of Paid-for Journalists is a tool Routinely Used by Politicians at Election Time", as that International Report found.


    => In such conditions, "the Weakening of Public Trust to Journalism", was obviously an unavoidable "Consequence"...  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     >>> - In order "to Build Public Confidence, Journalism must Connect with its Audience, and Make itself Accountable" for any eventual "Mistakes", i.e. "Journalists should embrace Self-Regulation, as a way of Strengthening the Work they do", Urges Aidan White, (ibid. p. 204). + More Widely, for all the above-mentioned reasons, (Comp. Supra), - "Creating New Structures .... and Focusing on Quality (of Content),  can Inspire the New .... Journalists, .... Committed to Values, ... to Enhance and Strengthen Journalism and Media Content", while also  tackling "the Ethical Challenges" which "emerge" from the "Creation of such a New Broad Movement", he rightfuly Hopes, (ibid. p. 203).


    - Because, meanwhile, in fact, "Journalism has become a More Open Profession", thanks to New Communication Technologies and other Socio-Political Developments. "These Developments are Encouraging Signs of a Move Towards a Fresh Vision for Journalism, accross Europe", and probably the World, also encouraged by several "Initiatives to ... Support for (what could be Named as) Public Interest Journalist".


    - "In Today's Media environment there is Much Debate about Who is a Journalist, and, therefore,... entitled to the Protections that should be Granted to People carrying out Journalistic Work, such as Protection of Sources, ... Pubic Interest Questions", etc. "This is an Important Question, and by No means Academic",  observes the Experienced Aidan White on October 2015, i.e.by an extraordinary coincidence, at the ..30th Anniversary of that Historic Inter-American Court of Human Rights' Decision of 1985 (almost at the Beginning of PC's and Internet's spread, etc), which described as Journalists those who have Decided to Dedicate themselves in Engaging to a Continuous and Regular Practice of Journalism, i.e. into Seeking, Receiving and Imparting Information about News in order to Express themselves and Inform the Public at large about Issues of General Interest for the whole Society, (Comp. Supra).


    >>> - "Increasingly, the Term "Journalist" is used to include All those who Regularly Engage in Collecting and Disseminating Information to the Public, with a Journalistic purpose", i.e. "People ... who (even if they are "Not Members of a professional body", and/or "Not Employed by a Media", etc, nevertheless) "commit what might be Called <<Acts of Journalism>>", White underlines, in this regard.


    - "Traditionaly, Journalists had been Defined (merely) according to their Employment by a Media Organisation", (i.e. Not by the Content, the Method, nor the Aim of their Productive Activities) , "by Affiliation to a" Trade "Union", or by completion of" a Specific "Training", as a kind of "Craft, with 2 Personalities : The ...Workers, in .. Employment as Part of a Media Brand, Working in a Team Dedicated to a Mission Defined by an Owner (of Media Equipments) or Management", Reminded White.


    + "EuroFora", as any careful reader, can, obviously, note, here, also the fundamental Fact that, while Back in the Past of Gutemberg's Printing Machines, all NewsMedia needed a Capitalist with enough Money to Buy an efficient Printing Machine, large Quantities of Printing Materials (i.e. Paper, Ink, etc), a Big Building to keep all that inside, and able to Pay also for the Necessary, then, Physical Transport of many Printed NewsPapers, for their Stockage and Offer to Distribution in various places, as well as to Care for the Massive Return of Non-Sold Copies, etc, so that any NewsMedia Worker was Inevitably Subordinated to "an Owner" of such Means of Production, the Use of which was, indeed,  "Defined" exclusively by that "Owner" and/or "Management", (as White pointed out), on the Contrary, Today, in the Modern Societies of Widely Developed Internet Networks, and more and more Powerful Digital Personal Computers, Tablets, SmartPhones, etc., naturaly, that Old Division became Obsolete, and those 2 Last Roles, often Useless, if not Parasitic and, in fact, even Counter-Productive, since any really "Skilled and Creative Workers" can, from Now on, Produce and Disseminate NewsMedia Informations withOut Needing at all, No More, the InterMediation of those supplementary personas, who have become, more or less superfluous, unnecessary, ByPassed and Historicaly Condemned by the very Progress of New Communication and Information Technologies, which allow to Modern Journalists to Search and Find, Design and Publish, as well as Disseminate to the Public the Results of their own Work, withOut needing, no more, anyone among those Old, seless and Costly Intermediaries, (and, in Consequence, also None among those above mentioned Relations of a Past which has Vanished or became Redudant, (Except, perhaps, for Coordinated NewsMedia Work, f.ex. specialy for Global Press Agencies, unless they use, innovate and develop further the Original Idea of the "Associated Press", which has notoriously been Destroyed by the Old System)...


    In other words, as also another Writer, Contributing in that Same COE's Book about "Journalism at Risk", Eugenia Siapera, from Dublin University's School of Communications, puts it : - At one stage in History, the Pioneers' '"Pure News", or "Literaly Journalism" of "the Men of Letters", when, often, "until the 19th Century, Newspapers were mainly <<One-Man-Bands>>" (Sic !), with the Cost of Founding f.ex. a Weekly staying still at about 690 £, had been Replaced, later-on, by "Traditional Industrial Journalism", where, for the First Time, "Journalists operated as Waged Labourers",  and "an Hierachical Model of Organisation of Journalistic Work" was imposed, together with "Fragmentation" and "Division", particularly between "Conception" and "Execution", etc, which strived to "Apply the Labour Model of Work to Journalism", resulting in Lowering its original Standards and Quality, while also Skiping the Focus from "Pure News' Content" (Comp. Supra),  to attempts to Affect or even Manipulate Public Opinion by a kind of Mass "Dealers of Public Opinion", etc, (i.e., obviously approaching the recently Denounced Corruption, Untrustworthiness, Lack of Independence, etc. that Aidan White Denounced in his own Paper: Comp. Supra).


    But, nowadays "Digital Journalism", may "Drasticaly Change" that situation, inter alia, including by the emergence, f.ex. of "a Multi-Skilled, Multimedia Professional", a "BackPack" Journalist, able to "Produce News through the Equipment in his/her Backup", the notorious Failure of "Pay per View" News at the era of Internet, Social Media, Twitter, etc., and of People Committed to "Open Journalism" at the Web, a Growing Debate between "Enterpreneurial Journalism" and "Public Interest Journalism", (the Potential of Both having been unleashed by Extensions of the Web and of PCs/SmartPhones, etc), Faster "Fact-Checking" for Accuracy than in the Past, the Disappearance of Old "Time Deadlines", "Multi-Media, InterActivity, Connectivity and HyperTextuality", as well as "Users' Participation" and "Social Media"e (including Quality Forums, etc), may Change seriously the Way that Modern and Future Journalists would Produce News, both Individualy and Collectively, and Open some New Horizons for Journalism/News Publishing, which have not yet been Explored enough.


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    => In addition, according to Aidan White, "Many Now argue that ... who Publishes Information on Matters of Public Interest, in this Context (i.e. "Regularly Engaged" in that activity, which includes also "Searching" such Information, "with a Journalistic Purpose", etc : Comp. Supra), "should Benefit from the Protection and Legal Privileges given to ...Journalists, including Protection from Censorship and undue Interference, the Right to Publish in Safety and Security, and the Right to Protect the Confidentiality of Sources", etc. "The ... Intention to Publish in the Public Interest, and Attachment to -and Recognition of- certain Fundamental Ethical Values", (Comp. Supra), will become Increasingly Important to Ensuring that Legitimate Protection is provided to everyone who should be Entitled to it (Traditional, and Non-Traditional Journalists included) ... Acts of Journalism in Good Faith are Worthy of Protection", resumes White in Conclusion, on this key point.    


    In fact, "Ethical Journalim has Always been at the Heart of Notions of <<Professionalism>> in Media", and "has always been reflected in the creation of Codes of Conduct for Journalists" in various "forms of Self-Regulation" he added. Today, "Journalism covers an Information Community much Wider than the Traditional(y) ...recognized Media Professionals". Because "it can include" all those "Engaged in the Dissemination of Information in the Public Interest", so that "Journalism Combines Free Expression with a Commitment  to Professional and Ethical Standards". Moreover, "Journalism has a Public Purpose to provide, as Honestly and as Independendly, as possible, Accurate and Reliable Intelligence for the Communities it Serves".  (ibid, p 197)                 


    - '"What makes Journalism, and the Work of People from Traditional and Non-Traditional, Public Interest Communications, Distinct from (Simple) Free Expression", is "the Discovery of Truth", "In the Framework of Press Freedom" : And "the Core Importance of Press Freedom is that it is embedded in Discussion, in which Differend Opinions are not only Expressed, but also Tested in Open Debate", advanced further White, with an Interesting Insight.  Real "Journalism and Media" are "Guided by Core Ideals of Mission, and Aspiring to Standards and Values". This "Distinction is Increasingly Relevant in the Age of Social Networks and OnLine Communications" : "Journalism ... is  .. a Constrained Expression, Framed by the Ethics of Journalistic Mission : Truthfulness, Independence, Accountability, Fairness, and Respect for Others". I.e. "a Commitment to Voluntary Restraint, that is Not Commonly found accross the Modern Information Landscape, and Would Not be .. acknowledged (at all) by many Bloggers or Users of Social Networks", as he Clearly Distinguished.  


    => - "But, for (All Real) Journalists to be Able to exercice (that kind of) Self-Restraint (Comp. Supra), they Must be Allowed to Work Free from Pressure and Intimidation" : - "The Need for Creating a Secure, Pressure-Free Environment, is Essential", through the "Defence and Promotion of High-Standards of Human Rights" applicable to all of them, Aidan White stressed, (ibid, p. 198).


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    In conclusion, "EuroFora" is Grateful to CoE's Services which have Graciously given us Timely a Copy of that very Interesting and even much more Comprehensive, big New Book on "Journalism at Risk", Free of Charge, as for all actively interested Journalists, (which can also be Downloaded from the Internet, for  just 26 €, at : http://www.coe.int/documents/2323735/12210592/Journalism+at+risk.jpg/869aca32-040c-4b44-b9cf-d4e5ea2547fb?t=1443716150000

 

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(NDLR : Partly = Fast Translation from the Original in French)
 
 
("DraftNews", as already send to "EuroFora"'s Subscribers/Donors,, earlier. A more accurate, Full Final Version might be Published asap).
 
 
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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.

german_regional_vote_400

    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.

merkel_sarkozy_eu_flag_400

    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

    - "Abuses in financial markets must stop", stressed also Sarkozy. Backing Merkel's announcement that France and Germany call for an EU meeting to forge "a crystal-clear European position" in view of the G-14 Summit at Pittsburg, he warned that "everyone will have to undertake his responsibilities, in front of World's Public Opinion. particularly those who don't want to make the same effort of regulation as France and Germany".

    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

    Thus, "the time comes, where decisions must be taken". But, in case of "Sanctions", "all International opinion should be convinced of the need to take action", he observed.

    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

    - Therefore, "for EU Commissioners' appointment, it's too early yet, because we must wait for the ratification of Lisbon Treaty" by all 27 EU Member countries, including naturally Ireland's Referendum on early October, said to "EuroFora" the influential President of EU Parliament's largest group of MEPs, Joseph Daul, expressing, however, the hope that a controversial deal with the head of the Socialist Group of MEPs, Martin Schultz of Germany, might hold for Barroso alone, at a forthcoming vote due to fix the Strasbourg plenary's Agenda.

    But MEPs reportedly just "postponed" for 1 week all their previously scheduled group meetings (See : http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/barroso-unveil-summer-homework-week/article-184825 );

    However, while the choice of a new EU Commission's President by EU Parliament is supposed, according to many MEPs' wish, take place according to EU policy issues, paradoxically, this would mean that Barroso's bid would pass before even the anouncement of France and Germany's "initiatives" for EU's "new Horizons"...

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