The information services of RTVE live hectic days, with communication between the News Councils and the management and the resignation of the heads of International of the corporation. The trigger was the refusal of the leadership to participate in a trip to Tindouf organized by the Polisario Front. Late on Friday, the News Councils of TVE, RNE and RTVE.es they condemned through a joint statement the “veto” by the Corporation for its workers to accept the invitation of the Polisario Front to travel, with another group of Spanish journalists, to Western Sahara with the possibility of interviewing Brahim Gali, leader of the Polisario Front and whose hospitalization in La Rioja triggered a strong diplomatic crisis between Spain and Morocco and the indictment of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In a meeting that took place last Friday between the management of the public radio and the News Councils, the Director of the Corporation’s Informative Content, Esteve Crespo, assured that the journalists of the public corporation would not participate in that trip. According to the statement, Esteve alleged that the trip would mean having a team “mortgaged” for several days, that it was a trip “on behalf of” because it was chartered by the Polisario Front, and that it is a “delicate” moment to do it.
Sylvia Fernández de Bobadilla and Juan Tato, and RNE journalist Guillaume Bontoux, responded to this refusal with their resignation. On Sunday, a second statement of the councils showed their support to their colleagues. “We want to acknowledge the work and consistency of those who resign, as well as the efforts made by the directors of the RNE and TVE Information Services, Mamen del Cerro and Pau Fons, so that the decision not to travel to Tindouf is reconsidered,” he says. the text, in which they assure that the three RTVE News Councils kept in constant contact during the weekend with those responsible for international public information pending a rectification in the decision of the management that never arrived . Associations such as FAPE or Reporters without Borders showed their support for RTVE journalists at that time.
– nemesio rodríguez (@RdrguezNemesio) October 9, 2021
“These resignations demonstrate the incorruptible commitment of the majority of RTVE journalists with public service information. But, unfortunately, there are too many occasions in which it has to be the grassroots professionals who show the decency and dignity of this house “, continues the statement of the RTVE Councils, which points to” political pressure “in the decision of the direction. “It is difficult to think otherwise until other explanations arrive.”
I join this heartfelt embrace,
and I expand it to @sybobadilla the tv.
Heads of International @ Victims.
It is not true that no one resigns in Spain. They resign and, in this case, not forced by their bad practices, but by dignity. https://t.co/HosAHGiUwy
– Anna Bosch (@annabosch) October 10, 2021
Late on Sunday RTVE published a statement that denied the “veto” to journalists, but confirmed the rejection of the trip to Western Sahara for breaching the Information Statute. What has been rejected, says the statement, is “accepting trips organized and paid for by interested sources.” They also explain that the corporation is working to send, “by its own means”, a team of informants to Tindouf. As they recall, the regulations ensure that “trips paid for by information sources will not be accepted when said circumstance may affect the impartiality of the information.”
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