Striking Italian journalists brought news agencies, printing presses and radio and television broadcasting to a halt this Wednesday and Thursday. Members of the FNSI, the main journalists union, organised a two-day strike after talks with FIEG, the newspaper publishers' union, on a new collective wage agreement broke down, mainly over the issue of freelance workers. Similar strike action took place on 7 and 8 October last month. The FIEG has refused to consider a wide-ranging agreement for the whole media sector, risking future journalistic quality and independence according to the FNSI. The journalists union appears determined to make a stand at a watershed moment for the defence of employment rights in media according to Arne K'nig, chairman of the European Federation of Journalists which supports the FNSI. The FIEG meanwhile is concerned that the governments new budget would leave newspapers struggling to cover a range of financial, printing and personnel costs. FIEG President Boris Bianchieri estimates that proposed cuts will result in a 10.9 million shortfall for his members.
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