The 17th Congress of the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists (CMJ) took place last Thursday and appointed a new head but several members protested that the meeting wasn’t organized according to their Code of Conduct and that their opinon was disregarded.
During a press conference announced on February 9, President of the Association of Daily Newspapers E.Dolgion stated, “Yesterday (February 8)’s meeting was not a proper congress of CMJ. Why wasn’t it held openly? Every journalist has the right to attend it. Moreover, a new Code of Conduct was approved before we even got the chance to read it through.”
E.Dolgion stated that a proposal to renew any organization’s internal Code of Conduct should be presented five days prior to its discussion session.
“We left before the voting for a new head started. We’re opposing this meeting because its main purpose was to pass a new Code of Conduct, which we haven’t read through, and put journalists under a certain political party’s influence rather than decide the new leader of the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists,” he said.
“Profit was marked as one of the values of the confederation,” criticized former CMJ board member Ts.Oyundari. “After we left, 181 people continued the meeting. We believe that all decisions made at the meeting are invalid as the attendance didn’t meet the requirement.”
Media representatives at the press conference expressed strong disapproval of the latest CMJ decision, which specified to omit Article 1.6 in CMJ’s Code of Conduct. This article states that CMJ’s president, first-deputy president and deputy president must be a nonpolitical party member.
According to the new Code of Conduct, board members will be appointed through a conference, only the president will be non-party, a new member organization will pay a one-time fee of one million MNT, and the members of the board will be fined with a fixed amount for failing to pay their taxes.
Kh.Mandakhbayar, a former member of the Mongolia People’s Party and editor of Zindaa magazine, was elected as the successor of B.Galaarid with 87.5 percent support through a closed poll.
The newly-elected President Kh.Mandakhbayar pledged to broaden the reach of the confederation and strive towards executing his action plan.
His action plan consist of targets to develop professional and independent journalism, enhance and promote correct journalistic ethics, carry out 1,000 – apartment program for journalists, include journalists in risk insurance, strengthen legal environment related to journalism, restructure CMJ, and broaden its foreign relations.
D.Enkhtuya, founder of TV-2 channel, and T.Oyun-Erdene, member of the National Board of the Mongolian National Broadcaster, competed against Kh.Mandakhbayar for CMJ president position. Director of the Mongolian National Public Radio and Television and senior journalist L.Ninjjamts and State Honored Cultural Worker U.Khurelbaatar were also nominated but they decided to withdraw before the polling started.