EBC employees join a general strike to protest against the company’s tight control and to defend freedom of expression.

After a meeting on Friday, 31 March, journalists and radio broadcasters from Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC) announced that they will go on strike and join the general protest organised against social security and labour reforms.

EBC employees wrote an open letter and denounced the censorship that has taken place since the introduction of the reform proposed by Michel Temer and his government, which removed the Board of Trustees and changed the way the company is administered.

These changes were unwelcome and caused internal discrepancies and, according to the employees, several instances of censorship – including prohibitions against the use of certain images – cases of harassment and layoffs.

The letter reads: “We have faced interference in journalistic work on a daily and generalised basis. A symbolic example took place on March 15, the National Day of Paralysis against Social Security and labour reform in which, unlike the tradition established at EBC, journalists were ordered to focus their coverage on the consequences of traffic “.

According to signatories, this is just another example of the many attempts the government has taken to control the press and censor any form of protest against Temer and his administration.

These practices, the employees argue, severely limit “the right to information of Brazilian citizens” and defies the very purpose of the EBC and its principles, as a public broadcaster: to be autonomous from the federal government and to manage and distribute its content to the public independently.

Header Image: Workers gather at a previous protest in September 2016 in response to government interference in EBC. Credits: SJPDF/Jonas Valente