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Regional News of Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Source: GNA

IFJ appoints Bellanger as New General Secretary

Dr Anthony Bellanger, a French national and trade unionist, has been appointed as the new General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) by the Federation’s Executive Committee in Brussels.

Dr Bellanger, 42, was IFJ Deputy General Secretary since 2 September 2014; succeeded Beth Costa of Brazil who held the position five years.

A release issued by IFJ and copied to the Ghana News Agency, says Bellanger holds a Doctorate Degree in history and had spent most of his career as a journalist in the French print media.

He was involved in trade unionism with the Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ) which he led as First General Secretary from 2011 – 2014.

Dr Bellanger said: “It is both an honour and pride for a journalist and trade unionist to serve as the General Secretary of the IFJ, the largest professional organisation of journalists in the world.

“The profession faces huge challenges today. The security of our colleagues remains elusive in many countries at war and the reign of impunity for crimes against fellow journalists threatens the freedom of expression in many regions of the world.”

He explained that the precarious working conditions, affecting mainly young journalists have become the norm while media concentration undermines pluralism; there are other causes for concerns, including laws on surveillance which are a hindrance to the confidentiality of sources.

“The unresolved gender bias and the hostility to collective bargaining from media owners threaten the primary protection of journalists’ wages and social rights.

“There is so much to do and my priority will essentially be our 600.000 members across 139 countries in the world, who struggle daily to keep alive journalism and international solidarity.”

Dr Bellanger would on November 2, launch the IFJ Global Campaign against Impunity for Crime targeting Journalists.

He would also coordinate the 29th IFJ World Congress which would be held in Angers (France) from June 7 – June 10, 2016, 90 years after the creation of the IFJ in Paris.

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