Journalists make daily reports on violation of labor rights of other trades and occupations, and almost make no reports about their own problems
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Translation: Fairpress
Workshops held and organized by the Association of BiH Journalists in cities and towns throughout BiH outlined basic causes of poor and unsatisfactory labor – legal position of journalist and also brief awareness regarding these issues. Workers / employees do not seem interested about these issues; pessimism prevails towards activities of Unions, including membership, in- adequate awareness regarding labor rights, insufficient time for active part in Union activities, material and financial dependence, political party bias- ness and lack of courage.

Unaccepting and pessimism represents lack of power but also serves as an excuse for not making enough effort to introduce certain changes, considering that fear of financial dependence, fear of losing job and other means of marketing is ever present amongst journalists.

Lack of education and awareness regarding facts that concern professional journalism as trade in particular is absurd, since journalists make daily reports on violation of labor rights of other trades and occupations, and almost make no reports about their own problems about the same issue. Unfortunately, Union is still considered, by majority, as “winter groceries” provider, instead of being considered as mechanism that may assist in negotiation processes and demanding labor rights, including better working conditions.

Journalists also make their position disastrous because they remain silent and do not want to learn about their own rights and accordingly fight for them. Journalists work overtime; their wages / salaries are often late and are often subject to mobbing and bullying, including political pressures. The fact is that journalists are not organized through Unions and without this kind of organizing there is very little they can achieve. The only way to impose certain changes is to have all journalists and other media staffs join Unions in their own media houses or individually join the Union of Graphics, Journalists and Media Staff, also including membership with journalists clubs and Association of BiH Journalists. Joint efforts by Unions and professional organizations are the only way to make some progress. Workers and journalists shall

definitely have less protection as soon as the law on labor in FBiH is passed and this is why all journalists that have not yet joined the Unions could find themselves in an awkward position. There have been lots of cases of violations of labor rights with some verdicts being passed to the benefit of journalists. The point is to seek courage and fight for your own rights.

At present we live rotten variety of capitalism where workers, including journalists as well, are used excessively and paid very little by their employers. Today, it is required to demand and request rights and possess knowledge in order to implement this knowledge.

Lack of time available for active contribution in Union organizations or Union organizing is often mentioned nowadays. This must be neither excuse nor reason accepted, because the above mentioned activities in terms of Unions are limited by time. Due to this kind of relationship financial instability may occur before one could join the Union and take active part in it and that is how one could make it clear to his / her employer about his / her opinion, attitude and shall also point out that employers do respect their own work, skills and knowledge. Should one decide to favor political party or parties, one must be aware of the fact that all journalists lasted in their own profession just as long as their political party interests consumed them.

Continuous and permanent fear from repression of any kind may result in quicker failure and decline, instead of creating courageous and journalists with high level of self – esteem and self – confidence.

This is yet another attempt in line aimed to raise awareness among media staff and instigate them to finally take destiny into their own hands with joined forces through Union organizing as this may be the only way to make achievement, associated by other, both professional and legal institutions, achieve restoring their dignity and gain respect they well deserve.

Bulletin “E-journalist“/Fairpress



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