By Maira Magro
Journalists in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte earn a base salary of $525 a month, the lowest in Brazil. They have launched a strong Internet campaign to criticize the decline of the profession in their state, and to demand a salary increase and respect for their human rights, the Portal Imprensa media news site reports.
The journalists say proposals made recently by their employee association are absurd: a salary increase of 3.5% above the base (lower than the inflation rate), and a decrease in the requirements for overtime pay. Journalists who are sued would also receive less legal support from their employees. The companies would pay defense lawyers to represent reporters only in the case of articles “expressly authorized in writing by management.”
The companies have also proposed that journalists would have only one day off a month. "They want to return to the time of slavery,” Nelly Carlos, president of the Journalists Union of Rio Grande do Norte, tells TV Câmara.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.