Committee of media professionals, government to be formed

Tunisian journalist union calls off strike against authorities

GMT 11:16 2012 Friday ,24 August

Arab Today, arab today Tunisian journalist union calls off strike against authorities

Tunisian television unions have cancelled a strike scheduled for Monday
Tunis - Nabil Zaghdoud

Tunisian television unions have cancelled a strike scheduled for Monday Tunisian television unions have cancelled a strike scheduled for Monday, August 27 after striking a deal with Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and representatives of the press, to form a framework including representatives of the government and the media to resolve issues related to the sector.
In a notification issued by the national television unions on Thursday, the organisations said said "the strike was cancelled to give a chance for more negotiation and dialogue with the government".
Dozens of journalists protested in Tunis on Wednesday, accusing Tunisia's Islamist-led government of seeking to take control of a press group, after the appointment of a controversial new director.
Journalists from Tunisian dailies Essabah and Le Temps had called for the demonstration outside the government headquarters, where the protesters gathered, chanting slogans calling for a free press and criticising the ruling Islamist party.
"Ennahda wants to put the media under its wing," and "Don't touch the public media!" read some of the placards held at the protest.
The two newspapers belong to the Dar Assabah press group, which the Tunisian state took control of after the revolution last year that toppled former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Editorial staff at the press group were angry at the recent appointment of its new director Lotfi Touati, former editor in chief of a rival publication they consider too close to Ennahda.
Critics have also described Touati as a former propagandist of Ben Ali.
The head of the Tunisian press union, Journalist Najiba Hamrouni, told Arabstoday: "The National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) agreed with the government on the creation of a consultative committee that combines the prime ministry and professional organisations representing the media, to oversee the sector and monitor the implementation of the agreements between the parties of government and the union".
The SNJT announced "the government intends to reach a consensus on various outstanding issues until a committee is formed to oversee the organisation and operation of the sector through the National Constituent Assembly"
"The agreed body will help overcome the legislative vacuum where it is expected to work to overcome all the issues in the sector," she said
Hamrouni expressed satisfaction with what she called "opening the door to dialogue".

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