EFJ Backs Protests over Political Interference in Management of Romanian Public Broadcaster

The European Federation of Journalists today supported its Romanian affiliate MediaSind Trade Union, in protests over a vote of the Parliament in Bucharest last week concerning the political appointment of two Administration Boards of the public radio and television. 

“Most journalists expect political interference in public broadcasting to be a thing of the past”, said Aidan White, the General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists. “But here we see the Parliament of a European Union candidate country carving up control of public radio and television among their political friends.” 

The angry response of journalists’ groups follows the decision on April 5 by the Chamber of Deputies to adopt nomination procedures for the Management Boards of radio and television that will place ten seats in the hands of political parties against only three places for civil society and representatives of the workforce. 

Mediasind is organizing a protest in Bucharest in front of the Parliament on Wednesday this week and another one in front of the Government building on Thursday. Romanian journalists also plan to organise a public protest in Brussels next week. 

According to the press release of MediaSind, “the criteria of the future members in the Administration Boards are insufficient to guarantee editorial independence”, and “moreover (…) the document does not guarantee financial independence so necessary in order to create a true editorial freedom”. 

The EFJ says that this law is serious threat against the independence of the public radio and television in Romania. 

“Last year a controversial law on public broadcasting provoked a referendum in Slovenia”, said Aidan White, “and we expect the Romanian authorities to take this topic seriously as well and to launch a proper debate on this issue”. 

Messages of support to MediaSind can be sent to: mediasind@yahoo.com  

For further information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 2202 
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in more than 30 countries