IBA takes step closer to reforms

One of changes is to restore 'Mabat' news broadcast to previous 8 p.m. time slot, so it will be able to compete with Channels 2 and 10.

IBA 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
IBA 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel Broadcasting Authority on Monday moved a step closer to implementing the long-debated reforms it needs to remain both competitive and solvent, when it signed a new work agreement with the television technicians, who until now had been an obstacle to progress.
Recently, the IBA also signed an agreement with the Jerusalem Journalists Association. Now, the IBA says, it expects that any outstanding issues between it, its employees and the various unions that represent the employees will be settled in the near future, and the reforms can commence.
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The IBA plenum decided on Monday that the Reform Committee, which it had appointed to negotiate the various agreements, would continue to oversee the implementation of the reforms and would ensure that the criteria established for dismissals would be followed, specifically with regard to employees on personal contracts and in accordance with conditions set down for journalists on a redundancy list.
Michael Shazif, who has headed the plenum’s television committee, announced his decision to step down, whereupon IBA chairman Amir Gilat was unanimously elected to replace him.
One of the changes Gilat wants to make is to restore the Mabat news broadcast to its previous 8 p.m. time slot, so that it will be able to compete with Channels 2 and 10, which run their main news broadcasts at 8.
This, however, would probably result in an even lower rating for Mabat than it has already. By broadcasting at 9 p.m, it has been able to include later-breaking news not broadcast by its rivals.
The change is not likely to take place for several months, giving Gilat time to reconsider the wisdom of the move.
Radio and television journalists who covered the fires in the north earlier this month attended Monday’s plenum session for discussions about the IBA’s preparedness for emergency situations.
The IBA is also promoting restoration efforts for forests destroyed in the fire, and broadcasts to this effect will culminate on Tu Bishvat, the new year for trees.