Serbia discuss Media Reform and Protection of Journalists’ Rights

With the financial support of Swedish based labour organisation LOTCO, the EFJ affiliate, the Journalists Union of Serbia (SINOS), organised a workshop called “media reform and protection of journalists’ profession" in Belgrade on 22-23 July. 

”Journalists have been the main victims of the still lasting transformation period in Serbia,” said Dragana Cabarakapa, President of SINOS. She gave examples from journalists working for private media, who had not been allowed to participate in this workshop. Especially in private local and regional media, journalists hardly have a written contract; they have to bring their own equipment, they have no media  insurance, many of them have not been paid for months.

The Parliament has adopted last week the draft labor law despite the two representative trade unions left the negotiations before the enactment of the law.

According to legal labor experts and unions some solutions of the low are even worse than the former,  giving workers less protection and unions less rights. The EFJ has sent a letter to the Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic asking for improved consultation rights and a revision of this unacceptable draft.
The seminar also discussed a draft law of electronic media dealing with the privatization of local state media, which is supposed to be discussed in a few days. EFJ affiliates, the Journalists association of Journalists (UNS), the Independent Association of Journalists and the union have different views about privatization of media. Unions have to access into private media and are also excluded from the consultation process on the draft law.
The EFJ agreed to assist the union in applying for training workshops on new ways of funding, web-portals organised by web-portals etc. The meeting realized that the future is online and that they need training to get equipped.