In the context of the Freedom of Expression Day, journalists from Yucatan talked about organizing for better training and the long-shot goal of better pay.
But what is a fair wage for someone whose vocation is calling them 24 hours a day?
“In terms of social welfare and benefits, the issue is complicated. For those of us who dedicate ourselves to this profession, salaries and wages are not equal, because work is not done by the fact of leaving the office,” said the president-elect of the Association of Journalists and Communicators, Ana Luisa Hernández Can. “When you are on your way home and you find something (newsworthy) along the way, even if they (editors) do not ask for it, the responsibility calls you and you take pictures and you write the story.”
Reporters are constantly on call. News can break at midnight, and you have to respond, she said.
Journalists, whether they are photographers, cameramen or digital producers, are the face of the companies for which they work, she noted.
Many of her colleagues have requested training courses, which the group she will lead hasn’t done in a decade. Hernández Can said the group will reinstate them.
Learning how to access police records, cover a trial and how the legislature works are three examples of training topics that would benefit journalists.
Veteran reporter Francisco Chi Lavadores said that salaries are very low, and always have been.
In turn, Iván Duarte Medina, the president of the journalistic forum Capitulo Yucatan said that the guild first needs to build bridges with society.
The public should rediscover the benefits of a media that delivers high-altitude information. Alternatively, the reporter must understand the importance of respecting the reader, he said.