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Journalists union denies involvement with polarising glossary

The glossary was compiled under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe

The journalists union has had no involvement in the drafting of a bi-communal glossary, it said on Tuesday.

The union was responding to accusations from a number of Greek Cypriot journalists that it had had a hand in preparing the lexicon.

The bicommunal glossary was a joint undertaking between two Greek Cypriot and two Turkish Cypriot journalists, working on the project under the umbrella of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

The glossary contains some 50 mutually acceptable terms that journalists covering the Cyprus problem could opt to use to avoid inciting a rhetoric of tension.

One of the authors is Christos Christofides, a member of the journalism ethics board, but the body publicly clarified that Christofides was not acting on behalf of the committee and it was a personal undertaking.

The guidance document has drawn fierce criticism from several reporters, who have signed a petition to have it withdrawn.

In a statement, the journalists union said these protesters were barking up the wrong tree.

It stated that the union’s entire involvement was minimal, limited to a preliminary discussion on the glossary held at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia, on October 9, 2017.

In any case the glossary is not mandatory, and any journalist is free to adopt it, in full or in part, or reject it.

“Our union is not a party to any tug of war, nor do we want any part of a polarising climate that is liable to be created over the matter.”

The union said that next week an OSCE delegation will be in Nicosia for an event to unveil the glossary and also to present a journalist exchange programme between the north and south.

Although it would be attending the event, “our participation does not mean that we endorse the glossary,” it stressed.

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