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EFJ Alarmed by Restructuring in French, German and British International Public Broadcasters

April 21, 2011

Today the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), expressed its concerns over restructurings and downsizing taking place in major public broadcasters in Europe.

"Within a couple of weeks it was announced that the three major international public broadcasters in Europe, BBC World Service, RFI-France 24 and Deutsche Welle, will reshuffle their operations and make hundreds of journalists redundant. This is terrible news for the public and also for all the journalists threatened by redundancies", said EFJ President Arne König. "We need journalism as a public good, not limited by commercial considerations or technologic choices that leave a great part of the public aside".

Last month the BBC World Service closed several language services and stopped its medium wave broadcast in Europe. Last week the French external broadcasters Radio France Internationale and France 24 announced the merger of their newsrooms, which will lead to over 120 redundancies and a reduction in the quality and the diversity of the news services. The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle also announced the end of the medium wave broadcast in the context of its general "reform programme 2010-2013" and the concentration of online services based on news translated from its German programmes.

"These developments are purely and simply a way to reduce the international operation of European public broadcasters into empty shells" said Arne König. "The global public needs independent and pluralistic information about the historic events taking place across the world, and international broadcasters, with a strong tradition of public service values and independent journalism have provided an essential service in meeting this demand."

The EFJ supports its affiliates in the UK, France and Germany in their struggle to uphold a strong a quality-oriented international public service news service; it also calls on competent authorities to make sure that the interest of the public and of journalists are guaranteed.

More information:
Deutsche Welle:[tt_news]=2534&tx_ttnews[backPid]=18

For more information contact:
European Federation of Journalists
Phone: + 32 2 235 22 00

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