This day was established a long time ago, back in 1958 in Bucharest, at the 4th Congress of the International Organization of Journalists, and is now celebrated annually on September 8. It was designed so as to let journalists of all countries show their solidarity, especially in the cause of protection of their rights. Thus, this day is not just another professional holiday, but also the day when all journalists can feel that they are the part of a huge community.
The day September 8 was chosen because on this date in 1943, in Czechoslovak, fascists executed journalist and literary critic Julius Fucik. While in prison, he wrote a book called “A report with a loop on the neck”, for which he was posthumously awarded the International Peace Prize in 1950.
Throughout the world, journalism remains one of the most dangerous professions. In many parts of the world, journalists are attacked every year. Even in peacetime, this statistics does not decrease.
Journalists, sometimes not even by their choice, may find themselves in the epicentre of hostilities, conflicts. They do not have any means of protection, the main weapon of any journalist is a notebook and a pen. Apart from the danger of being killed, a journalist may face injuries, abductions and arrests while performing professional duties.
The oldest and largest international journalist organization in the world is the International Organization of Journalists (IOJ). It was founded on June 8, 1946, at the Congress in Copenhagen by representatives of 21 countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.
The main objectives and tasks of the IOJ are: to preserve peace and strengthen friendship and cooperation of peoples through free, true and honest information for the public; struggle against propaganda of war, fascism, national and racial discrimination, various kinds of conflicts; protection of press freedom and journalists from the influence of monopolies and financial groups; protection of journalists’ right to reporting in accordance with their conscience and beliefs; fighting against lies, slander and disinformation by the press; protection of journalists’ rights.
Together with other democratic organizations, the IOJ is fighting for the universal values of humanism, observance of the norms of international law, respect for such institutions of the world community as the United Nations, for consolidating the new international information order.
On the International Day of Solidarity of Journalists, conferences and congresses are held around the world every year, where journalists from different countries gather. At such events, they not only share their experience but are also awarded for their dangerous work.