The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have joined their Romanian affiliate, the Romanian Federation of MediaSind Journalists (RFJ MediaSind), to demand that the rights of staff working at the country’s public radio broadcaster are respected and the institution is run in a fair and legal manner.
The call follows reports that the Board of Directors of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation (SRR), on Tuesday, June 3, approved a resolution banning candidates from outside the institution from running for the two positions of employees’ representatives on SRR’s Administration Council. The Council is appointed by the Romanian Parliament.
In January this year a similar decision was taken by the Board at Romania’s public TV broadcaster, SRTV.
The IFJ and EFJ have called on the RSS Board to overturn the decision with immediate effect, stating that the move will increase political control over the station, while undermining the democratic rights of employees to have their voice heard and limiting public control over a free and balanced media outlet.
“The decision is not only a violation of democratic principles, it is an illegal action that discriminates against SRR employees,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “It will limit public control over radio and directly affect the credibility of this press institution as a provider of balanced and open news.”
RFJ MediaSind says that it violates the country’s law on the organisation and functioning of SRR and SRTV which stipulates the right of the employees to elect two representatives to the Administration Council without any restriction.
By introducing the new regulation, RFJ MediaSind says the Board has revised the law, an action only members of parliament and government are authorised to undertake.
And RFJ MediaSind has also emphasised the regulation’s discriminatory nature, advising that Parliament can still appoint its members to the Administration Council, while employees’ representatives will face the new restrictions.”
“Facts have shown that the employees’ representatives from outside the institutions are those who were beyond the political interests and managed to better represent the employees,” the Executive Committee of RFJ MediaSind has stated. “They also guaranteed transparency, publicly presenting the activity of the Administration Council and signaling possible abuses, including any misdemeanours or illegalities.”
The IFJ and EFJ have offered their full support to FRJ MediaSind and staff at SRR and demanded that the station’s Board of Directors urgently amend their decision.
RFJ MediaSind have also contacted Romania’s Commissions of Culture Art and Mass Information Means of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, asking them to take the necessary measures to reinstate legality at the station and take appropriate measures against those responsible for the decision.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries