Employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority are preparing for a tough battle to save public broadcasting in Israel.

Leaders of the IBA workers’ union and the Jerusalem Journalists Association have been worried about Communications Minister Gilad Erdan’s plan to replace the IBA with another entity.

They expect to hold an emergency meeting at Beit Sokolow in Tel Aviv on Tuesday to plan a demonstration to take place outside the Knesset the following day.

The JJA, whose membership is largely made up of IBA employees, called on all journalists in Israel – whether working or retired – and all those who recognize the importance of public broadcasting in a democracy to join in efforts to save public broadcasting from extinction.

Organizers of the emergency meeting and the demonstration said that if Erdan were allowed to close the IBA, at least half of the journalists who would be laid off would not be re-employed in the new broadcasting institution if it came into being. Moreover, even those employed in the prospective successor to the IBA would lose many of the rights they have under existing wage agreements, they said.

The JJA, wary of the possibility that the IBA’s replacement may be privatized, has begun in its communications to use the slogan “You don’t privatize public broadcasting.”

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