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IFJ calls on Israeli government to revoke plans to close public broadcaster

20 March 2014

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its Israeli affiliate, the National Federation of Israel Journalists (NFIJ), to call on the Israeli government to revoke its plans to close down the country's only public broadcaster, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

According to the NFIJ, the government last week introduced a plan to lay off IBA's 2000 staff, about 900 of whom are journalists, and replace it with a new broadcasting body that will depend entirely on the government for its budget. The license fee will be abolished.

NFIJ says the new body will employ about one third of the number of people currently employed at IBA, while current staff members will not be given priority in getting a job at the new body and the terms and conditions and collective bargaining capability are unknown.

Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, said:

"We are deeply concerned by this absurd decision will be a major blow to democracy, to media pluralism and to journalism as a public good in Israel,
"We send our solidarity and support to our colleagues at IBA and we call on the government of Israel to reverse these destructive plans which will deprive citizens of their right to honest, level-headed and unbiased information, and is also likely to mean the loss of many journalists' jobs."

Tags: , broadcasting, israel, cuts, closure, public service broadcasting