Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the regional group of the International
Federation of Journalists (IFJ), today expressed its support to Romanian
journalists following the publication of a devastating report on the state of
Romanian journalism by the Romanian Federation of Journalists MediaSind (RFJ
The report claims
that since the start of the economic crises up to 6000 journalists and media
workers have lost their jobs, that journalists are being forced to renounce
their contracts in favour of royalty payments,
and that the union is fighting over fifty cases against illegal and
is under siege from the country's economic woes and employers' greed,"
said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "The future of the profession is in
serious danger. Employers and the authorities must take immediate action to
preserve professional journalism and confront the crisis for democracy and
Cristi Godinac, Chair of
MediaSind described Romanian journalism as having "one foot in the grave," and believes the substitution of contracts
for royalties will have a devastating impact on the quality of the profession
allowing journalists to be hired and fired at will.
The report also damns
the government for its new tax on royalties introduced this July which will further
punish the journalists who were forced to accept these payments.
The report identifies
Adevarul Holdings as the most notorious offender of journalists' rights, but
also criticizes a range of Romanian media including Realitatea TV, Evenimentul Zilei, România Liber?, as well
as the Cotidianul, Ziua, Business Standard, which are no longer being
published, as guilty of mistreating their journalists. In addition to the fifty
legal cases, the union filed a petition with the National Council for Combating
Discrimination and is involved in a labour dispute filed with the Ministry of
Labor against a publisher.
The EFJ condemns
media employers for the forced pay cuts and the replacement of salaries with
royalty payments that leaves journalists without any social and professional
protection. In condemning the practice, RFJ MediaSind said "sadly most
journalists bite the bullet and accept the compromise, faced with rent, bank
payments and household expenses, forgetting that these royalty contracts can be
amended and/or terminated at any time."
"It is not just in
Romania where journalists are being scandalously mistreated by overzealous
employers," said Arne Konig, EFJ President. "The economic downturn and the
technologic transformation in journalism is being used as a cover for blatant attacks
on journalists conditions that threatens the foundations of European
The EFJ is
considering sending a mission to Romania to support RFJ MediaSind and to fully
investigate the situation.
more information contact the EFJ at + 32 2 235 2215
The EFJ represents over
250,000 journalists in over 30 countries across Europe