24 July 2014

Burkina Faso: Journalists Strike to Demand End to Intimidation and Better Working Conditions

press release

Journalists working for the state-owned media (Sidwaya, RTB television and radio stations) who are members of the Independent Union of Information and cultural workers (SYNATIC) on July 16, 2014, embarked on a 24 hour strike in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso to demand better living and working conditions.

The MFWA's correspondent in the country reported that the journalists are demanding, among other things, an end to intimidation and interference in their work and the removal of what they termed "disguised sanctions" against members of the media. They are also demanding that the government draws up a "special constitution" for public media workers aimed at improving upon their living and working conditions.

On July 16, 2013, a similar action was taken by the journalists from the state-owned media. At the end of the sit-in strike, the Ministry of Communication set up a "Monitoring committee on social issues" which studied the various concerns raised by the public media workers.

The committee presented its findings in December 2013. However, since then "nothing has been heard and no concrete solution has been found for the complaints made", Justin Coulibaly, secretary general of SYNATIC told our correspondent.

"If at the end of this action, no satisfactory solutions are found, the SYNATIC will exercise its rights to engage in various forms of struggle to obtain its just and legitimate demands", Coulibaly said.

The MFWA is concerned about the general working conditions of journalists in West Africa. Many journalists in the region work under poor conditions and with little remuneration. We urge media owners to improve the working conditions of journalists so that they can discharge their duties professionally.

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