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CIoJ condemns sacking of NoW staff

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NEWS ALERT

8 JULY 2011

The Chartered Institute of Journalists has condemned the sacking of hundreds of News of the World staff – both editorial and others.

CIoJ president Norman Bartlett said the union was appalled at the peremptory closure of the News of the World in a bid by Rupert Murdoch and News International to deflect flack over the hacking scandal.

Bartlett said: “This action, which closes a well-liked British institution, does not resolve the issue of despicable behaviour by a handful of journalists.

“It does, however, ruin the careers and finances of hundreds of hardworking employees, journalists and those following other trades and professions for News International.

“It is a cruel and unnecessary punishment on many innocent workers.

“The Chartered Institute of Journalists supports the highest standards in journalism, but deplores this action by News International.”

CIoJ general secretary Dominic Cooper has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to think very carefully before taking any action that threatens the future of the Press Complaints Commission.

This morning [Friday] Mr Cameron seemed to signal the end of the PCC’s system of self-regulation of the printed news media, saying: “The way the press is regulated today is not working”. He described the PCC as “ineffective and lacking in rigour”.

He said that an entirely new system, “truly independent” of both the Government and the Press, was needed.

At a time when everyone from Alex Salmond to the union Unite is calling for tighter regulation of the Press, Cooper warned that a knee-jerk reaction to the NotW scandal would not serve the best interests of Press freedom or the wider public good.

He said that while Mr Cameron had said a new regulatory framework should be independent of the Government, there was a serious danger that it would be nothing of the sort unless time was taken to fully and calmly assess exactly what went wrong with the PCC’s handling of the phone hacking case and how best to prevent such failures happening again.

“While the Institute appreciates the urgency of the need to look for a better system, that must be balanced by the need in a democracy to protect the freedom of the Press and to avoid introducing draconian rules that restrict the work of thousands of honest journalists who have never behaved illegally or unethically,” Cooper said.

Ends

Notes to editors:

Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.

Contact: CIoJ President, Norman Bartlett, 07711 550523

 

Staff at Cypriot paper fear for their lives

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News

4 March 2011

Death-threat editor thanks CIoJ for support

By Amanda Brodie and Campbell Thomas

STAFF at a Turkish Cypriot newspaper, whose editor has received death threats, have spoken of fears for their safety.

Two shots were fired at the northern Cyprus building of the daily paper Afrika, (February 25) and a note was left threatening editor Sener Levent that if he continued writing, he would be killed.

Speaking to the Chartered Institute of Journalists this week (3 March) Mr Levent’s brother Osman, a reporter on the paper, said: “We are very grateful and pleased to have your support and will keep you updated with events over here – if we are still alive.”

He added they hoped the Turkish authorities would note their reaction was being monitored internationally.

Mr Levent said: “We are all targets, especially Sener. We get these threatening calls from Turkish nationalists, and they tell us what they want to do to us.

“The latest was the two gunshots at the door. They left a note that said: ‘To Sener. This time we do it like this, but next time you won’t be alive.’

“They don’t like us because we want to decide our future as Cypriots, and they take their orders from Turkey. We don’t like Turkey telling us what to do, so they don’t like what we write – but we will keep writing.”

Afrika journalists joined thousands of Turkish Cypriots who marched on Wednesday (March 2) in the Turkish sector of the divided Cypriot capital, Nicosia, protesting at Ankara-inspired spending cuts.

In one of the biggest demonstrations ever seen in north Cyprus, the underlying message from the estimated 25,000 protesters was resentment at what they see as efforts by Turkey to exert more control over the Turkish Cypriots.

Police confronted Sener Levent and Afrika staff and seized flags of the internationally-recognised Republic of Cyprus. Hundreds waved banners reading, “This is our country, let’s run it ourselves” and “Take your hands off Turkish Cypriots” The presence of such flags angered Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan at a previous demonstration in Nicosia in January.

The CIoJ said: “We completely condemn the threats against Mr Levent, and are happy to support our colleagues in the Greek Cypriot Journalists’ Union (ESK) who have called for the international community to speak out about this intimidation.

“This is not just a threat to an individual, but to freedom of the Press, and to democracy itself. This sort of criminal act should not be tolerated, and we call on the Turkish authorities to act swiftly to ensure the safety of journalists in northern Cyprus.”

The CIoJ has contacted the Turkish Consul-General in London to express concern at the situation.

ends

Notes for editors

• In 2001 a bomb destroyed Afrika’s printing presses. No one was ever arrested for the attack.

• In July 1996, Turkish Cypriot journalist and writer Kutlu Adali, a strong critic of the practices and policies of Turkey, was gunned down outside his home.

Leading journalists salute fallen colleagues

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Members of the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) in London and Lancashire laid twin wreaths on Remembrance Day, in memory of colleagues killed whilst reporting at home and abroad.

CIoJ Vice-President, Macer Hall, Political Editor of the Daily Express, took part in the Cenotaph service on Sunday, 11 November, in memory of journalist colleagues who died reporting on the Great War, and in numerous conflicts since.

At the same time, CIoJ President, John Thorpe, MBE, columnist on the Yorkshire Evening Post, laid a wreath at the war memorial in Preston to highlight the fact that more than 163 journalists were killed during 2007 alone.

The dangers that journalists face as they cover armed conflicts are well known to those in the industry but the public should know about the risks faced by journalists who strive to keep them informed.

We salute all journalists who have died to make the truth known.

Who can join?

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Who can join?

The Chartered Institute of Journalists is the world’s longest established professional association for journalists. Formed in 1884, the Institute was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria and has been serving the interests of our profession ever since.

Our members are professionals in their field and individuals in attitude. They belong to the Institute because they want to be part of an organisation that is dedicated solely to protecting and serving the best interests of journalists and journalism.

CIoJ members work in all areas of journalism, including:

Book Editing, Feature Writing, Picture Researching, Book Writing, Illustrating, Public Relations, Broadcasting, Photography, Reporting, Cartoons, Photo-journalism, Researching, Crossword Compiling, Production, Sub-Editing/Editing.

If you work in any area of journalism you qualify for membership of the CIoJ.

See also:

Grades of membership

Membership deals

Pension Fund

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Provides a small monthly payment to members who find themselves in financial difficulty once they have retired. The Fund also gives a financial birthday and Christmas gift to its pensioners.


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Benevolent and Widow’s Fund

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CIoJ

CIoJ

Provides grants and interest-free loans to members who may need short term financial assistance. Provides one-off grants to the spouse of members, to help with immediate financial difficulties following their death.


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OakHill and TP O’Connor Fund

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Provides grants towards convalescent and other costs, for members recovering after serious illnesses or medical treatment.


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Orphan Fund

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Through the auspices of its Orphan Fund, the Institute has been looking after the orphans of our members since 1891.

Over the past 10 years the fund has distributed an average of more than £50,000 of support every year.

With investments of more than £1.5 million the fund provides a monthly subsistence grant to its beneficiaries together with a birthday and Christmas gift.

Grants are provided to beneficiaries until they leave full-time education. Should the beneficiary go on to attend university the Fund provides and extra monthly grant towards the cost of accommodation.

From time to time the Fund’s Trustees will consider granting extra support, on a discretionary basis, to help support and further the child’s educational needs.


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