Public Broadcasting Service

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) defends public service values in broadcasting. We promote public service values, editorial independence, quality programmes and democratic and accountable systems of administration. The EFJ is a member of the social dialogue in the audiovisual sector of the European Union.

As with other sectors, broadcasting journalists continue to face severe problems for their future.  Redundancies are occurring in both public and commercial broadcasting organisations, pension funds are in crisis, and employers are, in many cases, forcing changes in working practices, changes in agreements on pay and conditions, and demanding that workers should take on additional duties and skills. It's not just employers reducing employment standards; there is a rise in political interference:

  • In Greece there has been a state plan to integrate public broadcast journalists into the civil servants' payroll and to renegotiate the national collective agreement
  • In Hungary the changes in the broadcasting laws by a government which has refused to abide by European agreements
  • In the UK a five-year freeze on the BBC's licence fee imposed by the government leading to 2,000 jobs being lost
  • In  Portugal, Spain and France governments are putting financial pressure on public broadcasters to downsize or even privatise

These are just a few examples of what is happening all over Europe and show the difficulties affiliates have in trying to defend pay and conditions for their members.   Older and more experienced journalists are forced into retirement or made redundant.  If they are replaced it's usually by young, untrained people on low pay, poor conditions.  This often leads to a fall in quality.  Also many of the new recruits are not willing to join a union.

The EFJ builds union solidarity. It co-ordinates discussions with unions, international organisations and other global groups dealing with media. This action programme should lead to the preservation and expansion of broadcasting of high standards and integrity.