25 Sep 14
Montenegro Media Union Urges End to Layoffs
Montenegro’s Media Union has expressed grave concern about the number of journalists who are losing their jobs every day, urging the government to act.
During the last three years alone, media outlets and the country’s two TV broadcasters have fired 500 members of staff, while one newspaper went bankrupt, the head of the union, Marijana Camovic, said on Wednesday.
In an open letter to President Filip Vujkanovic, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and Parliament Speaker Ranko Krivokapic, Camovic said media workers in numerous local and national media outlets have not received salaries for months, some outlets have seen massive layoffs and wage cuts have been announced.
“I fear this is not the end of the troubles for the Montenegrin media. If this situation continues, where the government not only has no interest in encouraging media pluralism and freedom, but often demonstrates its illegal or unprincipled influence on the media, many media could be shut down,” Camovic said.
About 3,000 people currently work in the country’s 59 radio and TV stations, 167 newspapers and magazines and other outlets
The union urged the government to “urgently consider” measures to help media activity by cutting the 7 per cent VAT on the print media and publishing companies and by cutting the fees for the electronic media.
The union was founded in April 2013 and is now the largest media organization in Montenegro, uniting more than 300 journalists, mostly from the independent sector.
Two weeks ago, Camovic, who has headed the union since 2013, lost her own job at the Podgorica daily newspaper Vijesti after 14 years’ work there as a reporter.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)