Updated 08/03/2021 18:51
Telam's board of directors, chaired by Bernarda Llorente, approved a
Conduct for the staff
of the state news agency, which was to take effect on August 1.
But it generated such controversy, due to the restriction of employee rights, that this Tuesday the suspension of its implementation was announced.
The fact is that the workers actively opposed the patrolling of their comments on networks and the two main unions of Télam issued statements rejecting this new regulation, highlighting that
its implementation could affect "freedom of expression."
And Llorente decided to suspend its application,
until "it is discussed and approved in conjunction with the unions,"
said the president of Télam to
And he added: "The issue was brought to parity last year and the union stated that it was a management issue that they would not discuss. There was a change of opinion on their part and it seems important to us to agree on it," Llorente assured.
SITRAPREN REJECTS VALIDITY OF THE RULES OF CONDUCT DRAWN UP BY # TÉLAM https://t.co/gC3EzXsCV7 pic.twitter.com/dTfvlOgDKb
- SITRAPREN (@sitrapren) July 31, 2021
In this Code of Conduct
, all company personnel are prohibited from making "comments" in the media or on social networks
that, "directly or indirectly, put at risk or cause damage to Télam and / or against the system and democratic values ”.
"Is criticizing Llorente's management on Twitter or the previous one by Rodolfo Pousá, is it causing harm to Télam?"
An employee who works in the state agency
In addition, the new Telam Code of Conduct establishes
all kinds of disciplinary sanctions,
from absences to the workplace, to mention in product notes, brands and television channels or cable networks, "under the guise of criticism." It also prohibits covert advertising of political campaigns, "without distinguishing news information from advertising."
"This is impossible to comply with, if the same bosses ask us for favorable notes from the Government and edit the notes so that they are part of the Frente de Todos campaign," complained a journalist from Télam.
And he added: “These prohibitions
can be used in a discretionary way to persecute journalists who do not like them.
Or are they going to sanction those who made the government's laudatory video at the end of last year? ”He asked.
Argentina achieved the immunization of more than 55% of the population
In addition, applications in those over 18 years of age rose to 74.35% https: //t.co/GmVin3MbKI
- Telam Agency (@AgenciaTelam) August 2, 2021
Télam is aligned with a militant journalism model. And that was in evidence, for example, when he celebrated the first year of Alberto Fernández's government, last December. On that occasion, he broadcast a six-minute video celebrating all the measures of the national government, only with the official gaze and good news,
without criticism, pluralism or diversity.
Without going so far, this Monday Télam spread a note on social networks entitled "Argentina achieved the immunization of 55% of the population." And the drop said: "In addition, applications in those over 18 years climbed to 74.35%." That is what was read on his Twitter account. But if you entered to read the note, only then did you find out that,
in reality, those percentages referred to those who had applied the first dose,
within the framework of a laudatory eulogy of the national government's vaccination plan.
The Code of Conduct approved by the Télam board of directors, chaired by LLorente, was harshly criticized by the Internal Trade Union Commission (CGI) of Télam, aligned with the Buenos Aires Press Union (Sipreba), which
requested "the suspension of the application of the Code of Conduct
issued by the company ”.
“The scope of the norm requires that its text be discussed and analyzed in a dialogue with this union representation.
The disseminated text has inaccuracies that
may lead to the violation of freedom of expression,
constitutional rights and the working conditions of colleagues in Télam, "said the CGI.
In the same sense, the Press Workers Union (Sitrapren), which is the other majority union in Télam, expressed itself.
"This document contains inaccuracies that can lead, in the best of cases, to hinder the work of the agency's workers -particularly journalists- and in more serious cases lead to arbitrariness,
acts of prior censorship, abuse of power and violation of freedom of expression
, thus affecting constitutionally protected rights of the workers we represent ”.
Llorente resolved on Tuesday to suspend the application of the Rules of Conduct, given the forcefulness of the claims and
to avoid a union conflict
when the electoral campaign is starting.