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Buenos Aires media workers highly underpaid

Friday, June 7th 2024 - 20:40 UTC
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“The serious situation cannot be solved by hiding it,” Lecchi explained “The serious situation cannot be solved by hiding it,” Lecchi explained

A survey conducted by the Union of Buenos Aires Journalists (SiPreBA) found that 3 out of every 4 newspeople in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA) had wages below the poverty line. The study was released in the wake of the June 7 Journalist Day celebrations in Argentina. Over 1,000 media workers were interviewed.

SiPreBA also underlined that newspeople were being targeted by the Libertarian administration of President Javier Milei, in violation of the rights to information and freedom of expression. The union insisted that Milei fostered “a climate of hatred against our profession.”

The Integral Survey on the socio-economic situation of journalists was carried out in May among 1,000 workers from private, public, and self-managed outlets in print or broadcast, including Infobae, América TV, Clarín, Olé, La Nación, Telefé, Ámbito Financiero, Crónica, Canal 9, Télam, Diario Popular, Radio Nacional, Página 12, Perfil, El Cronista, and Televisión Pública.

The study determined that 76% of press workers earned salaries below the total basic basket as per the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec), which determines the poverty line. Hence, 52% of these workers have more than one job to make ends meet, with 21% of them having also a third job or more.

In addition, 78% of free-lance contributors bill their publishers below the basic basket and 50% of those working in self-managed outlets need an additional source of income in a non-press business.

“Only 38% of those who work in the press in the AMBA are women and dissidents. In addition, 51% of women spend more than 6 hours a day working as caregivers,” the report also found. “Among the people surveyed under 30 years of age, 37% work in the press under precarious hiring conditions; and 96.5% are paid below the poverty line,” the SiPreBA survey detected.
The study also noted that 22.5% of the interviewees admitted to having been attacked for being journalists, with 76% of these cases being in a virtual manner.

The Buenos Aires reporters also agreed that freedom of expression had “worsened” since Milei took office on Dec. 10, 2023. At least 78% of them concurred when asked about that issue. In addition, 22% of newspeople said they had been threatened by law enforcement forces in the last months.

A total of 83% of the interviewees also said that input from the state-owned Télam Agency was used daily until the Libertarian administration decided to shut it down. In response, several former Télam workers have launched the Somos Télam service which is partially feeding larger outlets.

Regarding artificial intelligence (AI) 23% of those surveyed admitted it was being used at their workplaces.

In this scenario, 42% of the media workers have symptoms of anxiety, 13% sank into depression, and 8% suffered panic attacks. “The serious situation cannot be solved by hiding it. That is why our objective with the survey is to highlight the reality of the union in order to build how to transform it among all of us,” SiPreBA Secretary-General Agustín Lecchi explained.

“Journalistic investigations are the ones that still allow us to bring to light facts such as food not delivered by the government. Paradoxically, our profession is attacked unceasingly while they want to adjust labor rights, stigmatize the union struggle, and want to install individualism,” he added.

“Faced with this situation, from SiPreBA we bet more than ever to strengthen the collective organization and reinforce the defense of a profession that is fundamental for democracy,” he went on.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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