The European Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on October 7, 2014 released a study which highlighted the notion that ‘Journalists’ and their organisations must be the driving force for the future of journalism.’
The study on ‘Confronting Austerity: Financial and Employment Models in Journalism’ written by Andreas K. Bittner sought to find out how journalists and their organisations can confront the crisis and respond to / take advantage of the rapidly changing media landscape. It was the result of a one-year project carried out by the EFJ.
Forty-two EFJ affiliates across Europe responded to the questionnaires which results show that some organisations have developed measures to help journalists adapt to the new media landscapes, such as the offering of new training programmes on digital, entrepreneurial and networking skills. The study shows however, that many organisations continue to lag behind in developing such services for their journalists.
The study also confirms that a growing number of freelance journalists are facing precarious working conditions while others have proven that they can be the driving force for the new business models and create new jobs for others.
The study noted that journalists’ organisations need to address their ageing membership and to encourage membership diversity to include more women and young journalists in their decision-making bodies.
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, the EFJ President, launched the study in Skopje, Macedonia, during the EFJ Trade Union Leadership workshop. It is funded by the European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs and is available in three languages.