29.12.2018. – Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and safety of journalists in the Western Balkans has the honour of presenting outputs of Small Grants Programme, which took place during years 2017 and 2018 within the bigger project “Protecting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in the Western Balkans”. One of the funded projects was “U pravu si! Guide through Journalists’ Labour and Trade Union Rights”, implemented by Slavko Curuvija Foundation (SCF) and Kontekst organisation.
The main output of the project is an electronic guide, which provides journalists and other media professionals with relevant information on their labour rights and opportunities for trade union organizing, as well as possibilities for their protection, in a simple and communicative manner. The publication is a part of a wider “U pravu si!” initiative that was launched in 2001 with an objective to inform Serbian citizens on their rights and obligations in the legal order of the Republic of Serbia.
At the same time, the portals Cenzolovka.rs and Masina.rs have published analytical articles on the position of journalists in labour relations, issues of trade union organizing and other forms of protection of jounalists’ labour rights, especially in local media.
According to the project, journalists and other media professionals face precarious labour, while research shows that most journalists in Serbia are worried about job security. “Journalists are mainly pressed by legal insecurity, volatility of working hours, insecurity of working conditions, low wages… Many journalists, particularly the youngest, work with no contracts, typically hired temporarily for a few months… Freelance journalists are in the worst position, as they do not enjoy even minimal protection under the Labour Law,” project document states, adding that most journalists are not organised in trade unions.
Such a situation in labour relations “directly affects overall freedom of the media and freedom of expression”, thus the project’s overall objective is to help reduce managerial and editorial pressures on journalists and other media professionals that largely “stem from unfavourable working conditions and insecure income”.
Slavko Curuvija Foundation was founded in late 2013 to protect and advance freedom of media in Serbia. SCF works on promoting and supporting free, independent, and accountable media and the advancement of investigative journalism in Serbia. Masina.rs media portal exists since 2014, as an integral part of a long-term educational project of Kontekst organisation.
Find the Guide through Journalists’ Labour and Trade Union Rights HERE.
About Small Grants Programme
During 2017. and 2018. 15 projects were funded through the Small Grants Programme in two LOTs (4 regional and 11 national projects) in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo* and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The Small Grants Programme supported locally and regionally rooted civil society initiatives, engaging human rights activists, journalists and media, aiming to protect the freedom of expression and freedom of media.
The small grants programme was funded by IPA /EU with co-financing from the Croatian Government Office for NGOs and matching funds from grantees; it is part of a regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety implemented through partnership of five regional journalists’ associations and one journalists’ union– Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (IJAS), Association of BH Journalists (BHJ), Croatian Journalists Association (CJA), Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK), Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (TUMM).
Croatian Journalists’ Association and its regional partner journalists’ associations thank all subgrantees and other participants for their interest and effort in engaging in the Small Grants Programme and for their cooperation throughout the whole application and project implementation process.
Safejournalists.net, Zagreb, 30/12/2018