Friday, January 27, 2023

POSITION OF JOURNALISTS – EXTREMELY DIFFICULT

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In February next year the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Culture and Information will start working intensively with trade unions of workers in media on finding adequate methods to improve and protect labour rights of journalists.
Trade unions of workers in media are supposed to establish a work group which would define key problems while employers would be obliged to found their association. This is the conclusion of the meeting recently organized at the initiative of the Trade Union of Journalists of Serbia. The meeting was atttended by the CATUS representatives.
Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, Gordana Čomić stressed it was about time we started talking about the violation of labour rights of journalists. The fact that violation existed in the first place meant that democracy was at stake. She also added that journalists were hired without the employment contract, on temporary and occasional jobs, fixed-term contracts, which harms their own and their family’s existence.
President of the Trade Union of Journalists of Serbia, Dragana Čabarkapa, pointed out that precariousness was the most damaging in the media. It prevents public criticism of the authorities and society because the fear of losing your job is the greatest censor. The fifth of journalists are freelancers and only 27% of them are employed full time. She also explained that the privatisation destroyed media, especially at local level, because owners are driven by personal interests and the only solution lay in the amandment to the exisiting legislation. While waiting for this to happen, it is necessary to sign a branch collective agreement. This proposal was seconded by the state secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Stana Božović who thinks that many problems would be solved by signing the branch collective agreement.

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