The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) published on 8 May 2019 a magazine focusing on journalists’ working conditions in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The contributors are six students in journalism from the region, winner of the 2019 Journalism Students Award. The first edition was organised by the journalists’ unions and associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH Journalists), Kosovo (AGK), Montenegro (TUMM), North Macedonia (SSNM), Serbia (SINOS) and Turkey (TGS), in partnership with the EFJ.
The objective was to involve the young generation in the debate on working conditions in countries where journalists often face precariousness, insecurity and lack of recognition. As a result, the six articles – both published in English and local language – draw a similar picture when it comes to describing the authors’ future working environment. Low wages and delayed payment, threats and pressure from the local authorities, businessmen or editors, difficulty in enforcing basic rights, time pressure and frustrations are among the issues addressed.
Some journalists don’t actually know their rights, as explains Kristina Gadže, in her detailed article about the Bosnian labour law, which would need to be effectively enforced. Urim Isma describes the struggles of young journalists in Kosovo who can work for months without receiving any salaries. In North Macedonia, Blaze Darudov reported about the situation of correspondents, who are rarely entitled to weekends or holidays and face distorted treatment by media owners compared to employed journalists. The Montenegrin piece is a wake-up call written by Zeljka Zvicer to journalists and students who would like to put an end to the “media darkness” in which they operate. In Serbia, Marija Simojlović expresses the necessity for journalists to go back to basics when reporting, in order to reestablish “responsible journalism” in times of fake news and hate speech. Finally Nebiye Ari’s talked to four young journalists about their experiences and the sacrifices it takes to work for the Turkish media.
The magazine was published in the framework of the project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey”, running from 2016 to 2019. It received the financial support of the EU and the UNESCO.
For printed copies or downloads, please contact Camille Petit: camille(at)europeanjournalists(dot)org
Credit: Boris Pejovic