The Culture and Media Federation FAIR-MediaSind, in partnership with the Center for Independent Journalism (CJI), announce the launch of the first open source platform dedicated to culture and media whistleblowers, according to Agerpres.
"The difficult situation of social dialogue in Romania, exacerbated by the current pandemic, compels us to find new ways to more effectively defend the rights of our members in the culture and media sectors. This platform is a very useful new tool that we make available to our members in order to be able to identify and address issues in the sector without exposing our whistleblowing members," said Leonard Paduret, FAIR-MediaSind president and head of the FAIR National Trade Union of Culture Workers.
According to a release of the trade union organization, the whistleblowing platform is available at fairmediasind.disclosers.eu or can be accessed from the Mediasind website.
FAIR-MediaSind, the only representative federation for media and culture workers, said that the platform will use GlobaLeaks; the software is provided by the Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights and is promoted in Romania by the Center for Independent Journalism as part of the European project 'Expanding Anonymous Tipping' (EAT).
FAIR-MediaSind executive president and president of the Romanian Journalists Union MediaSind, Cristi Godinac, said that the platform will allow culture and media employees and freelancers to report, under the protection of anonymity, various breaches in the institutions they work for. The reports will be handled by the specialized lawyers of the federation and will be solved in due time.
"A few months ago we filed to Parliament, on behalf of our colleagues from the Romanian Public Television Broadcaster, a report of public interest. The employer has abusively adopted a code that allows the dismissal of an employee who criticizes their employer or has an opinion difference with the latter. Depending on how they dress or if they sue their employer, our colleagues may be fired because this is considered a serious disciplinary violation. In this context, employee anonymity is essential. We need abuses to be reported. From now on, we and our lawyers know what track to follow. GlobaLeaks makes our work easier," Godinac said.
The FAIR-MediaSind leadership emphasizes that it has resorted to this solution so that all 8,000 members of the federation feel safe when they report breaches, without fearing reprisals.
"The last few months have shown us how important it is to have whistleblowers who feel safe when they disclose breaches. In a society like ours, where whistleblowers are seen as 'traitors' or are threatened with criminal cases if they talk to the press, for instance, such a platform can ensure their anonymity, if that's what they want," says Cristina Lupu, CJI executive director.
The EU Directive No. 1937/23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law introduces new requirements for the protection of whistleblowers, in particular the creation of a secure reporting channel, both for public sector organizations and the entities owned or controlled by them, as well as for private sector companies.
GlobaLeaks is an open source platform used by over 300 entities across Europe, which serves as an internal secure whistleblowing channel and meets all the requirements of the new EU Whistleblower Protection Directive.