What if selling this NFT was mainly used to help journalists in danger of death?

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In the previous episodes, I reviewed the stressful blows that spiced up the project (copyright, the infeasible “smart contract”, the thorny choice of which number to transform into an NFT…), I told you told how we found the Piasa auction house and how we overcame a big obstacle. In France, intangible goods, such as digital works, do not have the right to be the subject of a public auction. The story does not end there. You can imagine that neither 20 minutes, neither Piasa, nor the author of these lines, will make any money on this auction. It is above all an editorial project which allows to reveal the underside of the obscure technology of “non-fungible tokens”.

20 minutes will donate the money from the sale to an association. I was keen to find an organization that helps journalists in difficulty internationally, but apart from
Reporters Without Borders, I do not know what is done in terms of international associations. On the advice of a colleague, I contact
Anthony Bellanger, general secretary of the
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to take advantage of its insights and review the various existing NGOs. As I talk to him, I realize that the
security fund of the IFJ ticks all the boxes: an international organization that helps journalists in difficulty in the field. With the Afghan crisis, the safety fund is more relevant than ever.

“A lifeline for journalists”

For those who, like me, do not know the IFJ well, it brings together national trade unions and associations and represents a total of 600,000 journalists around the world. “As Secretary General of the IFJ, I represent the profession before the United Nations bodies when there are discussions on working conditions, salaries, health…, explains Anthony Bellanger. Protecting journalists is my mission. And as an International Federation, we developed the global charter of ethics for journalists He continues. Adopted at the 30th IFJ World Congress in Tunis, in 2019, it specifies the rights and duties of journalists in terms of ethics.
Mediapart, for example, posted it on its website.

In 1992, in parallel with the creation of the list of journalists killed to pay tribute to collateral war victims, the IFJ launched a security fund. Thirty years ago, reporters were accidentally killed, today they are targeted. The security fund is “a lifeline for journalists under threat or in need,” read the website. He helps families when they cannot pay for a journalist’s funeral, he comes to the aid of injured or endangered reporters. “Recently, a colleague had been shot in the abdomen in Somalia and the surgeon was waiting for the money to fall into his account to start the operation because it was too expensive. It’s terrible, ”he illustrates.

The security fund of the International Federation of Journalists (illustration)
The security fund of the International Federation of Journalists (illustration) – IFJ

“We have zero means, we do with what we have”

Likewise, the IFJ was mobilized for the crisis in Afghanistan. On August 15, Kabul fell into the hands of the Taliban, causing a financial crisis, food insecurity, unemployment … In early September, several dozen journalists were beaten, arrested or prevented from covering the demonstrations, in particular Afghans. that the Taliban harass much more than the foreign media, according to numerous testimonies to AFP. “We sent away all those who were in danger. There are 700 journalists in Pakistan, less than 200 in France, a few hundred in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia, continues Anthony Bellanger. Now all of those are there ”.

Many media have been shut down, either by the Taliban or by the press bosses themselves who felt in danger. Journalists no longer have a job. “With the two journalists’ unions in Afghanistan, we received 40,000 euros from a special fund in a few weeks to pay them accommodation, food and health costs. There has been huge inflation. The price of food has gone up. There are fewer and fewer doctors because many of them have left the country, ”continues Anthony Bellanger, who defines himself as an“ emergency physician by the profession ”.

With the security fund, the IFJ sends, on average, 80,000 euros around the world every year, but it hardly receives 12,000 or 13,000 euros a year. “We have zero means, we do with what we have,” he concludes.

Next week, we get our hands on the technical part of the creation of the NFT, another big puzzle of this virtual odyssey. See you next week, dear crypto-addicts.

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