Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic unions will quit a global media federation on Tuesday in protest at “corruptive activity”, including allowing Russian state media journalists in Ukraine to stay as members, the Finnish union said.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which represents 600,000 journalists in 146 countries, denounced the accusations as “false, defamatory and damaging”.
The Nordic members accused the IFJ of longstanding undemocratic practices, unethical finances, and of allowing the Russian state media representatives to continue as members.
“We call this corruptive activity,” Hanne Aho, the chairwoman of the Union of Journalists in Finland, told Reuters, adding the four Nordic unions would resign from the IFJ on Tuesday.
Leader of the Norwegian Union of Journalists, Dag Idar Tryggestad, said the unions had fought for years to put in place democratic rules on IFJ elections as well as transparency around decisions and spending.
Both Aho and Tryggestad said the Nordic unions’ latest disappointment resulted from the IFJ not taking action against the Russian Union of Journalists for setting up regional journalists’ associations in Ukrainian territories invaded by Russia.
“They have been able to do so in all tranquillity without the international federation expelling the Russian union,” Aho said.
The IFJ said its executive committee had triggered a formal process for suspending and expelling the Russian Union of Journalists. It said the expenditure was formally audited every year, adding that it had sought to answer all questions posed by the Nordic unions.