European Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ)
Recruiting and Organising:
Union Challenges in Times of Media Crisis
Belgrade, 17-18 April 2009
With the Support of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation
2008 Survey on
Recruitment and Organising in Journalism
23 countries
25 responses
Who responded?
Over 172 000 members are covered by
this questionnaire (majority in
Germany:60.000 and in Great Britain
and Ireland: 37.000).
 19 trade unions; one association and 5
say they are both union and professional
Membership Development: Figures
11 unions declare membership losses within last
year(s) (both German unions >1000; Austria>500;
Sweden>350; UK losses within last year, but 8%
increases in period of 2001-2006)-many more losses
expected due to medai crisis and related job losses.
11 unions declare membership increases: Belgium;
Cyprus; Norway (journalists in digital media); Denmark
(700 new members within last 2 years from
communication sector), Spain (Ela), Lithuania (120
last year); Portugal (few freelances from audiovisual
sector); Turkey.
Membership Development: Categories
Generally speaking new members are young and often
freelances (confirmed from survey done in 2006)
In some unions, student members have been growing as well.
(Majority accepts students with special status and special fee; in
Denmark they have the same status.) Exceptions are in Portugal,
Greece, Cyprus, France (CGT), and Lithuania.
Gender ratio: In almost all unions more men than women with
more women entering unions recently.
In UK, in Serbia and in Turkey staff journalists numbers rose
more than freelances’ numbers (later ones due to difficult legal
restraints regarding organising of freelances).
Serbia (only union with no members in private media).
Reasons for Leaving the Union
 Some have not made any research.
 Those who have, say:
(UK: “biggest reason is death”)
Changing job, that is leaving journalism
Too expensive;
Esp. in CEE, staff journalists are forced into freelancing, very low
(Austria: impact of merger of union and problems with data transfer);
Changing culture among young (strangely only mentioned by Swiss
Problems with collective bargaining;
Turkey, Slovakia and Slovenia: pressure from employers.
In France it is a general trend: leaving the unions (only in France?
probably not).
Sectors with difficulties
recruiting new members
Main problems, which almost all unions clicked:
Online+Web sector.
Broadcasting second most difficult sector.
Freelances third most difficult sector.
Only three unions (dju in verdi, impressum in
Switzerland and CFDT in France) face problems in
newspaper sector. And in Lithuania in magazines.
New Target Groups
Many unions have not defined any target groups for recruitment and organising.
Some are in the process (Slovakia: meeting in April on this issue).
Those who did:
Internet journalism (Hungary, Austria), new media, multimedia
Young journalists, also those who do not consider themselves as
Freelances as special target with special needs and services;
Online web, production companies (Norway);
New staff in media companies (including foreign owned and private
broadcasting (Croatia)
Bigger media houses without union presentation (Slovenia);
Regional media (Lithuania, Slovenia);
Trade Press (Norway);
Local media (Portugal)
Recruitment Tools
(Switzerland and to an extent Sweden: underdeveloped recruitment
culture up to now, as active recruitment was not needed, but now change
in policy); some unions have not considered this subject at all (Greece,
Personal contacts (most unions), work place visits of trade union
officers, “strong work place representation is key” say the Finnish;
Legal Assistance;
Telephone contacts;
Members magazines, websites, website with growing interactive media
Advertisements (DK and NL) brochure with arguments for membership
(Portugal inspired by NUJ!), Croatia (some get organised after reading
the leaflet);
Travel reduction (Portugal, Belgium…) and other services including
freelance insurances;
Special university project and contacts with the youth press (dju in
ver.di), and NVJ academy (NL)
Seminars +language course (Slovakia).
Training for Staff and Shop
o Some (9) do not do any training (lack of resources or no need);
o 14 respond with yes or intend to do so in the future such as:
 Workshops on how to recruit new members (Austria);
 Database of members will be optimized (NVJ)
 Training for staff and lay officers, NUJ:
 Training and Youth Project, training for broadcasting branch (dju,
 Summer regional workshops in Lithuania;
 Working group dealing with recruitment (plan for future work,
 8 days a year for each new shop steward (Denmark),
 Training for shop stewards and staff training planned for later this
year (Sweden);
 Planned for next year (Turkey);
 Training seminar in May (Serbia).
“Shopping List” for EFJ:
How can the EFJ/IFJ help?
Especially from members in CEE: Exchange, contacts, learning from experience,
seminars for new shop stewards and future trade union officials, seminars on the
need to join a union for freelances (Croatia);
Easy access to info from/about EFJ;
Experience about media development in Europe (Spain);
Mutual assistance scheme in Europe would especially help freelances to get
invoices paid abroad (NUJ);
A more attractive IFJ International Press Card (dju in ver.di);
More possibilities for International exchange also among ‘normal’ members, more
professional training offers at European level; (dju in verdi);
Analysis of new trends and habits around journalism (NVJ);
Activities that strengthen and defend journalism as a profession (helping unions to
be perceived as active defendants of the need and interests of journalists;
EFJ broshures in local languages;
Create a better network among EFJ members, esp. the young
EFJ protests against government (Serbia).
Recruitment and Organising
Thank you for your
attention and
please send
additional info to Enjoy
the seminar and
learn from others’

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ)