Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Global Expansion Program

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Global Expansion Program

Article excerpt

The International Federation of Newspaper Publishers (FIEJ) at its 45th World Newspaper Congress in Prague, Czechoslovakia, May 24-27, embarked on a global expansion program offering membership to newspaper publishers all over the world.

FIE J, an acronym for Federation Internationale des Editeurs de Journaux headquartered in Paris, has 15,000 newspaper members in 59 countries.

K. Prescott Low, publisher of the Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger, newly elected president of FIE J, explained to the members at their largest meeting in history that membership is now being opened up to individuals as an Executive Member or as a member of the Newspaper Marketing Bureau. Membership will no longer be confined to members of affiliated national associations.

An Executive Member will participate in all activities including a 10% discount on the fee to the World Congress and including an automatic membership in the Newspaper Marketing Bureau.

A separate membership in the Newspaper Marketing Bureau will include discounts on fees to seminars on classified advertising, circulation marketing, sales and distribution, advertising and readership, plus discounts on all FIEJ publications.

Low described the new FIEJ as "the U.N. of the newspaper business." He announced that the board of directors will be increased from 11 to 14 members and the office of secretary-general, which he has occupied for the last two years, will be eliminated because of confusion with the office of the director general, the operating head.

Timothy Balding, who has occupied that office for seven years, has announced his retirement (E&P, May 30, Page 16). It was also announced there are plans to create a "Foundation for Freedom of the Press" later this year.

The 1993 Congress will be held at the Inter-Continental Hotel, Berlin, May 23-26.

* * *

Nelson Mandela made a plea through FIEJ to the press of South Africa to redress the imbalances in South African media. Key members of the established press there attending the FIEJ meeting, including the Argus Newspapers, in principle endorsed the formation of a trust fund for the development of the independent press and the diversification of print media in South Africa.

FIEJ formally welcomed this development and asked its members to support press diversification in that country. It asked the South African authorities to cease harassing newspapers and it called "on the political parties negotiating a political settlement in South Africa to make a constitutional commitment to freedom of expression in that country."

As had the International Press Institute at its meeting a week earlier, FIEJ noted that the "new crime of defamation would be added to existing safeguards against libel and slander" in a law proposed by the Spanish government which would ban journalists convicted of the crime from writing for four years. It would effectively reduce freedom of expression and freedom of the press, FIEJ said, and urged the Spanish government to withdraw the draft law.

* * *

FIEJ members were treated to opposing views on the future of newspapers, media, and information.

Neil Postman, professor of media ecology, Department of Communication Arts, New York University, spoke about "information glut."

He said, "Information has become a form of garbage, not only incapable of answering the most fundamental human questions but barely useful in providing coherent direction to the solution of even mundane problems.

"Such a situation is intolerable in many respects, not least of which is in the problem it presents to newspapers," he stated. …

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