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On Press Day, MediaSind calls on the Coalition in Power to stop its attack on freedom of expression and to respect the rights of media workers!

postat 2 mai 2022, 22:37 de Office Mediasind   [ actualizat la 2 mai 2022, 22:38 ]
The Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture and other central public institutions are politically involved in suppressing the rights of journalists

 

On Freedom of Expression Day, the Romanian Union of Journalists MediaSind, the largest national trade union organization, asks the political class to treat journalism as a public good, to give up the use of public institutions for suppressing freedom of expression and to respect the rights of media workers, rights that were negotiated through collective labor agreements, such as the journalist's conscience clause.

 

The Romanian Union of Journalists MediaSind notes that the situation of the media industry and, in particular, the condition of the journalist, are deteriorating every day and the freedom of expression and the rights of journalists are at the mercy of the Ruling Coalition. Now that Ukraine is in the midst of a war with Russia, when journalists should be defended and intensively supported, the authorities in Bucharest are ignoring the crucial role of the press and not only are not offering it any protection measures, but they are even resorting to various operations to discredit it.

Benefiting from an anemic opposition, the current Power in Romania allows itself to use without restrictions the state institutions to discredit inconvenient journalists (details here: 10 european and international organizations are asking the Romanian authoritiesfor "prompt and independent investigations" in the case of EmiliaSercan), abolishing the rights negotiated in the case of the main public press institutions – the Romanian Television Corporation and the Public Radio Company through the erroneous interpretation of the legislation by the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Finance at the request of some politruks from these institutions (New lawsuits againstabuses in the Romanian Television Corporation: MediaSind is suing theTurturica-Saseanu administration for refusing to pay the meal vouchers to TVRemployees!). 

Moreover, we are witnessing the abusive involvement of the Ministry of Labor to block collective bargaining at sector level and in other institutions in Culture and the Media, which may affect the interests of 100,000 workers in this important area who need to negotiate a Collective Labor Agreement to guarantee their rights!!!  (The FAIR-MediaSindFederation presented to the European institutions how the Romanian Ministry ofLabor becomes the Ministry of Solidarity with Corruption in Culture and theMedia!).

A great unfulfillment of our society remains the fact that the public media institutions remain politicized, and the employees of the Romanian Television Corporation and the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation are subjected to immense pressures, in order to be used in various political scandals and electoral campaigns.

Social dialogue, at all levels, is being blocked by restrictive and abusive labor legislation, which also seriously affects the press which, at least at local level, is on the verge of extinction. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture, with the arrogance with which we have become accustomed lately, despises the employees in the Culture and Media sector by refusing to get involved in solving the problems reported by the representative organization - the Federation of Culture and Mass-Media FAIR-MediaSind.

Under these circumstances, journalists need greater support from civil society, which can limit, through various actions of public pressure, the measures of the Political Power to restrict the freedom of expression. Also, some international institutions may put pressure on the local decision-makers, a fact proven in many of the difficult episodes taken by the Romanian press in recent years.

Citizens need to understand that journalism is a public good, that it is one of the cornerstones of democracy. That is why they must get involved by asking the Government for more transparency on how the money is spent on public media institutions. A major desideratum of any democratic society is that the media should not be controlled by the Government and should not be manipulated by politicians. These things can only happen when citizens realise that the media is theirs, because they are paying for it. For this reason, we consider that it is imperative to reintroduce the radio-TV fee for the financing of public media institutions - the Romanian Television Corporation, the Public Radio Company and the National Press Agency AGERPRES!

As it has always done in defence of the rights of all workers, including through the Petition tabled in the EP against the introduction into the national strategy for defending the issue of the vulnerability of the press (details here: Debateon the petition of FRJ MediaSind in the European Parliament), the Romanian Union of Journalists MediaSind, supported by the Federation of Culture and Media FAIR-MediaSind, the Confederation CNSLR-Brotherhood, the European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists, will notify the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission and the International Labour Organization for requesting the support of these institutions in order to stop the abuses of the current political class in Romania against freedom of expression and against the rights of the Romanian media workers.

 

National Executive Bureau of SRJ MediaSind

 

Bucharest, May 3, 2022