JOURNALISTS: “ALARM FOR THE PROFESSION, EU DIRECTIVES REQUIRED” (FNSI PRESIDENT, FRANCO SIDDI)
(ANSA) - ROME, 5 NOV - “The alarm is sounding throughout Europe” for journalism; therefore “a European directive is required to ensure freedom and independence of information and to protect journalism as part of the checks and balances in democratic systems.” This is what the FNSI president, Franco Siddi, said when speaking at a conference in Rome organised by the FNSI to mark the occasion of the day for defending and valorising journalism in Europe, organised by the international and European federation of journalists, working with the national federations.
Mr Siddi went on to say, “This event is an unprecedented symbolic action, bringing us together to focus on the values of the profession.” In Italy “the national contract for journalists expired nearly three years ago” and “parliament has approved legislation on telephone tapping which sharply restricts the right to gather information.” At the same time, things are no better in Europe: “In Germany,” the FNSI President continued, “nearly half of all journalists do not have formal contracts. In Hungary, hardly any journalists have full-time contracts. In France, there are sixteen contracts divided by areas, and the long-standing agreement regarding collaborators is up for review. In Switzerland, the national contract has not been renewed for four years. In Slovenia, there is constant government interference in media affairs. In Ireland, publishers have stopped hiring journalists and have cut back on new technologies, with the sole aim of boosting profits. In Portugal, the profession is under attack and proposed legislation will block access to information sources.”
On the positive side, Mr Siddi noted that “the European Parliament has recently approved a resolution concerning the protection of sources – an important first step. We must insist on moving ahead in this direction in order to find common ground amongst all the European unions.”
Regarding the contract for Italian journalists, Mr Siddi said, “I am convinced that the forthcoming FNSI conference (editor’s note: November 26-30) will find the right approach for opening up negotiations with the publishers.” The same feeling is shared by the undersecretary for the Presidency of the Council, Ricardo Franco Levi, dealing with the publishing sector, who said: “In such a sensitive sector, it is unimaginable to keep going without a contract.” Raffaele Fiengo, from the “Corriere della Sera”, highlighted the need to “listen to our readers and to communicate with society as a whole".
JOURNALISTS: “UNIMAGINABLE TO GO AHEAD WITH NO CONTRACT” (RICARDO FRANCO LEVI)
(ANSA) - ROME, 5 NOV – “In a sector which is so sensitive for society as a whole, it is unthinkable for the publishing world to go ahead without a national contract for journalists,” also because “Parliament would find it extremely difficult to draw up legislation for the sector before normal industrial relations are resumed.” This is what the undersecretary for the Presidency of the Council, Ricardo Franco Levi, said when speaking at a conference in Rome organised by the FNSI to mark the occasion of the day for defending and valorising journalism in Europe.
“What I’m saying is not just an invitation to the parties involved,” continued Mr Levi. “Rather, it is a call to take up the responsibility for a situation that has to be faced immediately and put right urgently. Now is the time to sit down at the negotiating table – no further delays can be accepted. I sincerely hope that the forthcoming FNSI conference (editor’s note: November 26-30) for electing the union’s new executive, will be the occasion for starting up negotiations again.” For Mr Levi, the agreement already reached regarding collaborators and social welfare services “should be taken as a sign that it is possible to negotiate successfully in everyone’s interest.”
Regarding reforms to the publishing sector, the proposed decree will soon come before the Cultural Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. On this subject, Mr Levi said that “the constructive and positive atmosphere should enable the Commission to get to the heart of the problem, since all the members of the Commission, both from the government and from the opposition, have shown their willingness to deal with the questions on the agenda. My hope is that parliamentary discussion will be the occasion for everyone to take a broad view of the journalism sector.”