“The rules governing journalists in many countries in the Arab World have been designed with the aim of exerting government control over the profession, said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “In many cases, this is achieved in part by channelling resources through mandatory membership syndicates in exchange for some degree of loyalty.”
The Statement recognises that journalism is different from other professions, inasmuch as the very substance of what journalists do – seeking and imparting information and ideas – is a fundamental human right. This means that the profession should be open to all. Some of the other important standards set out in the Statement are:
• Journalists’ syndicates and unions should not act as gatekeepers for the profession.
• Public funding and resources are legitimate only where provided through a system which is protected against interference and which is fair and transparent.
• Journalists have a right to protect their confidential sources of information.
• Systems for issuing press cards should not be used to control access to the profession, should be overseen by independent bodies and should be administered fairly.
For further information, please contact:
Centre for Law and Democracy
+1 902 997 1296