Buenos Aires Times

culture PUBLIC MEDIA BOSS

Lombardi: Fired workers at state-run news agency Télam were politicised

Hernán Lombardi addressed a Lower House committee over accusations he and Télam’s management had unfairly targeted, on ideological grounds, the 357 workers recently fired from the agency.

Today 11:33 AM
Public Media boss Hernán Lombardi addresses a Congressional committee on July 11, 2018.
Public Media boss Hernán Lombardi addresses a Congressional committee on July 11, 2018. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

More Culture News

“It went from being a place of journalism to a space for party-political activism”, was how the head of Argentina’s public media network Hernán Lombardi described operations at state-run news agency Télam.

Lombardi was addressing a Lower House committee over accusations he and Télam’s management had unfairly targeted, on ideological grounds, the 357 workers recently fired from the agency.

From 2003 to 2015, the agency “almost doubled” its personnel from 4379 to 926 people and almost 50 were hired “on just one day in November 2015”, days before Mauricio Macri became president.

Lombardi said the “level of absenteeism, the amount of unjustified days off, the very low productivity compared to  other international agencies” was “unacceptable”.

“All of this mismanagement undermines the most important attribute of a news agency: its credibility”, he said Wednesday, adding that the agency had lost subscribers.

The opposition criticised Lombardi for alleged “ideological persecution” against workers, particularly unionised workers.

“We have separated workers who do not meet the profile” that the agency needs, was how Télam’s board of directors had described the decision on June 26 to fire 40 percent of its permanent staff.

The agency’s management said the move, which will shed 354 of Télam’s 960 jobs, was part of an effort to “modernise and professionalise the company.”

“Like so many state agencies and companies, the agency we inherited was also a victim of the irresponsibility and mismanagement of the previous government which used the public service for the purposes of political support,” the outlet’s management said in a statement.

-TIMES

Poll

Op-Ed

Top Stories

  1. 1Ecuador court upholds US$9.5 bln damages ruling against ChevronEcuador court upholds US$9.5 bln damages ruling against Chevron
  2. 2Remains of giant 200-million-year old dinosaur discovered in San Juan
  3. 3Croatia knock out England to set up final clash with France
  4. 4Santa Fe town raises Malvinas flag by mistake
  5. 5One dead, one missing as Spanish fishing boat sinks off coast
  6. 6Remains of giant 200-million-year old dinosaur discovered in San Juan
  7. 7Rafael Nahuel Autopsy: Bullet linked to special Police unit
  8. 8Israel plans its first moon launch in December
  9. 9Peso sinks to record low against the dollar
  10. 10Dollar rebounds 20 cents after dropping below 28 pesos