Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – A new campaign on the theme, “Socially Responsible African Media” was on Friday launched in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, by a group of trade unions fighting for the rights of journalists and other media workers in Africa.
The group consisting of Federation of African Journalists, (FAJ), Uni Africa and their partners like the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and media-related groups across the continent are leading the campaign over a three-year period.
The trade unions have observed that the media play “a major role in promoting the universal values of freedom of expression, respect for human dignity and the sacred duty to inform the public.”
However, they said, “there can be no quality media in the absence of a minimum level of social rights for media workers”.
The groups therefore feel that it is necessary “to link the receipt of development aid with respect for social norms through the establishment of a social responsibility label” for the African media.
It was further observed that over the years, trade unions had through “collective agreements, negotiations” with public/private companies and some governments negotiated rights for media employees.
“All too often, however, those agreements are not applied,” the groups observed, saying “the creation of a social label would extend those rights in individual enterprises, reduce precariousness and broaden the dissemination of socially responsible practices”.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 22Jan2011