According to a recent survey publish by the EFJ affiliate, the Journalists’ Trade Union of Azerbaijan (JuHI), the general working and social conditions for journalists have improved significantly with an average increase of 15% in their pay. However, the conditions for journalists working in regional media remains low as the increase is only for journalists working for national media. The survey has asked 100 journalists from 25 national newspapers, 5 news agencies, 5 news portals, 10 weekly newspapers (7 regional, 3 national), 5 TV Channels (3 regional and 2 national), about their pay conditions, contractual relationship, social and health insurance coverage and workloads. .
The key findings are
- 97% of the journalists surveyed are covered by the national labour law. However, only 60% of them are covered by a written labour contract, and the remaining 40% are working without a written contract. Most of the contracts do not include the provision of health insurance.
- 93% of journalists working for national agencies earn between 570 to 670 AZN per month, which include an increase of 15% comparing to the previous year. However, the monthly salary for journalists working for regional press or media remains constant and falls well behind their counterparts in the national media.
- 336 journalists received additional income from the government through the State Support Fund for the Development of Mass Media Means New job in the media are being created.
- Despite the positive developments, the report also highlighted some challenges facing journalists and the union. The areas of concerns are the provision for media insurance, access to information, copyright protection and training for journalists.