The European Federation of Journalists
(EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists, today
expressed its solidarity with staff and unions of Italian TV Channel La7 who
are facing an unprecedented wave of lay-offs. The EFJ called on Italian lawmakers
to condemn the cutbacks which will affect more than a quarter of the
"We urge the Italian Parliament,
which on Wednesday will discuss Italian labour law and the
precarious state of journalistic work, to focus attention on La
7 where the massive lay offs pose a serious threat
to media pluralism and quality in Italy," said EFJ President Arne
König. "This network, which is Italy's third largest, is the
only private alternative at national level to Mediaset owned by Prime
Minister Berlusconi and the public broadcaster RAI, which is
still highly politicised."
In September, the owner of La7, Telecom
Italia Media, announced its intention to fire 25 journalists of its
88-person news department staff. It is the first time in Italy that a
national broadcaster would dismiss such a number of fully employed
journalists at a single stroke.
For this reason several members
from both the parliamentary majority and the
opposition have asked to put the issue on the agenda of the Italian Chamber of
Members of the Italian Parliament, and to discuss the serious attacks on labour
law within the group Telecom Italia in connection with a possible reform of
precarious work and labour law 223 of 1991.
They also formally asked the Labour
Minister Maurizio Sacconi to give the official position of Mr
Berlusconi's Government on the issue.
La7 (known as "The Seven") is owned by the
former national telecom operator, Telecom Italia, and has been considered the
most impartial and independent channel in the highly politicised landscape of
The EFJ in cooperation with its Italian affiliate, the Federation
of Italian Journalists (Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana), is urging
Parliament to consider also the alarming increase of precarious work in Italian
journalism. This, they say, is having a serious impact in the quality and
credibility of journalism. Alongside this concern is also the urgent need for a
new collective agreement for journalists.
information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 2200/02
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in
more than 30 countries