The agreement was signed on Wednesday 17 October by Neji B’ghouri, SNJT President, Abderrazaq Tabib, General Director of Tunisian Radio and Mohammed Al-Asaad Al-Dahish, General Director of Tunisian Television.
The preamble of the agreement emphasises the importance of protecting the freedom of expression as a means to bringing about a democratic society, the significance of strengthening the value of public service broadcasting and stress the need to guarantee journalists' social and professional rights as the basic foundation for media freedom.
The agreement is based on the commitment of both public broadcasting establishments to providing human and financial resources to strengthen the safety of their journalists and field media crews. It includes the development of professional safety procedures within establishments, material and moral preparation of journalists for dangerous tasks, providing professional safety training, equipment and ensuring field crews against work accidents.
“We applaud the positive partnership with the directors of Tunisian Radio and Television establishments in framing this agreement, which will also ensure providing a service that meets the needs of the diverse community," said Neji B’ghouri, president of the SNJT, at the signing ceremony.
“The SNJT will also work on similar agreements that will be discussed soon with the rest of the public and private establishments, which would set additional commitments for directors of media establishments to protect their journalist crews. The SNJT is also committed to ensuring that the occupational safety center is fully prepared to help media organizations improve their performance and to train their journalists”, he added.
Mohammed Al-Asaad Al-Dahish, General Director of the National Television Establishment, and Abderrazaq Tabib, General Director of the National Radio Establishment, praised the agreement and affirmed their commitment to protecting their journalists. They also expressed their pleasure in being the first public media establishments in the Arab world to sign such an agreement.
The agreement covers journalists working at 10 national and regional radio stations which form the Tunisian Radio Establishment, as well as journalists working at two TV channels in the Tunisian Television Service.
Mounir Zaarour, Middle East and Arab World Policy and Programme Director at the IFJ, who witnessed the signing ceremony of the agreement, said: "Signing his agreement, which reflects the commitment of media establishments to the duty of care towards their employees, is a historic day for journalists in Tunisia and the Arab world. It comes at difficult times when journalists face an unprecedented wave of oppression, abuse and denial of their right to a safe life and work, to stress that trade unionism and professional solidarity are essential to guarantee the rights of journalists. We are very grateful to the General Directors of Audiovisual Media in Tunisia for their cooperation in commencing the path we hope that public media establishments in the Arab world will pursue."