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IFJ backs defence of media qualification requirement in Brazil

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has backed the call by its affiliate in Brazil, the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ) for the restoration of the requirements for professional qualification in order to practice journalism. FENAJ marked the Brazilian Journalists Day Thursday by reiterating its support for proposals for constitutional amendments (PECs) before the National Congress, which restore journalism training and diploma for aspiring journalists.

"We support these demands which are in the best interests of the profession and journalists," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "The professional qualification brings young talents to the industry and protects journalists from employers more interested in dumping down on standards and working conditions than on expanding access to journalism."

FENAJ has been waging a campaign to defend the labour law in Brazil which for thirty years has made the journalism diploma a requirement to work as journalist. The campaign followed the decision by the supreme court which ruled in 2009 that the requirement was a restriction to freedom of expression and therefore unconstitutional.

IFJ supports FENAJ campaign, saying that professional journalism, as a public good, carries higher duties than the freedom of expression in the general and failure to discharge them can erode the public trust in media.

"Journalists have to be truthful, impartial and accountable for their reporting," said Elisabeth Costa, IFJ General Secretary and former President of FENAJ. "The public look to professional journalists for credible and objective information. We would fail them if we deny training to journalists."

On the Brazilian Journalists Day, FENAJ issued a manifesto to the nation in which it reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of expression and called for the support of the Brazilian society for the restoration of the requirement of the journalism diploma for the professional practice and the creation of the Federal Council of Journalists (JTC), a body that will ensure self-regulation of the profession.

Date posted: April 10, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 125