Staff at Euronews in Lyon walked out on Tuesday in protest at a proposed reduction in staff and the number of broadcast languages.
Around 40 jobs are under threat as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme, including the loss of around 30 journalists out of the 202 currently employed on permanent contracts. In total Euronews employs 500 staff.
Parce qu’on aime notre chaîne, parce qu’émettre en 12 langues partout dans le monde est une richesse culturelle incroyable, et parce qu’il n’y a pas d’information de qualité sans journalistes et sans de bonnes conditions de travail, #Euronews est en #grève pic.twitter.com/17BaaiknkV
— Guillaume Petit (@guillaumepetit_) February 9, 2021
Although cuts are planned across the board both the Italian and Turkish language services would be dropped. Italian has been a part of Euronews since its launch in 1993, while its Turkish feed is seen as one of few independent voices in the language.
In a statement, journalists union SNJ said it believed the decisions would “open the door” to cuts in other services.
A spokesperson for Euronews told Broadband TV News that as of 13.00 CET only 13% of staff had failed to report for work. “Many media have had to face a difficult situation since the beginning of the COVID crisis. Privately owned international news channels, like Euronews, have had to deal with a loss in ad revenue, given the difficulties many of their clients are facing (in particular in the travel and tourism sector which represents an important source of ad revenue on the international media market). Consequently, like many of its competitors, Euronews has had to make a series of spending cuts, which include a redundancy plan which will consist first of a voluntary redundancy scheme.”
Euronews is owned by Egyptian telecoms billionaire Naguib Sawiris. His Media Globe Networks (MGN) owns 88% in the company. It followed the sale by NBC of the 25% it held in the company, ahead of the launch of the now dropped NBC-Sky World News Channel.