The European Federation of Journalists today called on European broadcasting authorities to intervene in Montenegro, where the public broadcasting system is on the brink of collapse and hundreds of media staff have not been paid for months.
“The situation is critical,” said Marc Gruber, Broadcasting Co-ordinator of the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists. “Workers are unpaid, debts are piling up and no-one is taking responsibility. It is an appalling state of affairs that brings the notion of public broadcasting into disrepute everywhere.”
The EFJ is calling on the Council of Europe, which has played a leading role in trying to bring about reforms in the regional broadcasting landscape and the European Broadcasting Union to examine the situation and to advise the Montenegrin authorities, as well as the management of Montenegrin television, on solutions to the current crisis.
The EFJ has been alerted to the crisis by its member, the Independent Trade Union of Journalists of Montenegro. The Radio-television of Montenegro (RTVCG) has a debt of over € 6 millions, staff have received only three minimal payments in the past six months and any salary evolution has been frozen for years. Moreover, the management seems to be unable to tackle seriously the issue of restructuring the former State broadcaster.
“Whereas the legal and political framework is set for reforms, it is extremely worrying that the management and the Board do not introduce serious options for changes in consultation with journalists and media workers,” said Gruber.
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The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in more than 100 countries