Journalists’ union to protest in support of IBA

Demonstration initiated by organizations concerned that tensions may result in decision that IBA is no longer necessary.

IBA 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
IBA 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Members of the Union of Israel Journalists will join a demonstration at Beit Sokolov in Tel Aviv at noon on Tuesday to demand the safeguarding of public broadcasting in Israel.
The demonstration was initiated by a group of organizations concerned that the sharp deterioration in employer/employee relations at the Israel Broadcasting Authority, coupled with the souring of relations between the IBA and the Finance Ministry and other government bodies, may result in a decision that the IBA is no longer necessary.
For citizens and foreign residents of Israel whose poor or non-existent command of Hebrew emphasizes the importance of broadcasts in other languages, the possibility that the IBA may become obsolete is very worrying.
Commercial stations other than the Russian television channel do not broadcast in languages other than Hebrew.
The Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel has launched a campaign to keep the English language IBA News on the air, but if the umbrella organization ceases to exist, such efforts will be in vain.
Danny Zaken, the newly elected chairman of the Jerusalem Journalists Association has called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to put professional considerations above politics in selecting the people who will be responsible for the implementation of the Broadcasting Authority Law and for getting the long dragged-out reforms underway.
In an open letter to members of the JJA, in which he also addresses the prime minister, Zaken writes that it is time to correct the mistakes of the past and to appoint a good minister who will assist in the selection of a professionally experienced and qualified chairman, and not a politruk.
Zaken also stresses that the prime minister must give his backing tothe finalization of negotiations between the Finance Ministry, theworkers’ representatives and the Histadrut.
In this context, Zaken also addresses himself to Histadrut chairmanOfer Eini, charging him the responsibility of ensuring that the variouschannels of the Israel Broadcasting Authority begin to operate as theyshould.
Sanctions by technicians in recent weeks have prevented satellitebroadcasts and telephone interviews. All interviews since theintroduction of sanctions have been conducted in the IBA’s radio andtelevision studios.
It is imperative, writes Zaken, that radio and television employees beable to do their jobs without the constant fear that the IBA may closedown.