Hacks sans frontières
THE JULY branch meeting heard about how journalists' unions are working together internationally. Jim Boumela, the NUJ's representative on the International Federation of Journalists Executive Committee, gave a technical overview of the organisation. The IFJ's members are 141 trades unions.
Therese Hofbauer, then recently appointed as the international authors' rights campaign worker, came over from the IFJ's Brussels base. She said that "No guest should come without a gift," and presented a slightly bemused Chair with an inch-and-a-half wodge of articles on the Tasisni -v- Times case.
"I am not an expert yet," she said, "I am trying to become an expert." She described herself as "just a co-ordinator... What I do is to try to find out what's going on in the different countries, put it on the web, be prepared for when people call me and give them ideas on how they can improve their work." So actual campaigning for authors rights is down to us... though Therese hopes to produce such aids as a basic training kit for authors' rights negotiations. See a lot of her work at www.authorsrights.org.
LFB member Rotimi Sankore described some of his work with the IFJ on journalists' safety. This ranges from from high policy - creating legal frameworks, repealing official secrets acts - to advice on what you wear. In a conflict, "don't wear the colours of the other side," he points out.