Journalists receive less than half of average salary

2019-05-30 11:38:29

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The Press Institute of Mongolia has recently introduced the study conducted on the labor situation of those working in the media sector in Mongolia. According to the study that was done with the support of Friedrich Ebert Foundation Mongolia, half of the employees in the media sector have a monthly income of less than MNT 1.2 million. The average salary after taxes is MNT 664,000 (average pay for some private-owned news agencies and sites is MNT 350,000), which is MNT 245,000 lower than the national average.

Despite the case, the work hours of journalists are 52 hours in a week (6.5 days per week), which is 12 hours more than the normal 40 hours per week. 11 percent of the workers have not registered with the social and health insurance. 75 percent of them are journalists, while 62 percent are women. It was also found out that most of the journalists work on holidays and weekends, but they do not get days off from work in exchange, along with 50 percent of those workers not being paid for working on holidays. 1,100 journalists and workers of a total of 260 media organizations in the capital city and 19 aimags were involved in the study.

Aside from unequal pay, the aforementioned shocking situation of the employment of journalists that they have yet to even realize themselves shows the need of protection for labor rights in the media sector. About the situation, Representative of Friedrich Ebert Foundation Mongolia Niels Hegewisch said, “Although the topics of strong journalism, independent media and journalism ethics are frequently discussed, the topic of journalists as workers is often ignored. We must not forget that their labor environment must be protected to an appropriate degree in the legal environment. It is after that that ethical journalism should be discussed. To determine the current conditions Mongolian journalists are working in, we accepted the request made by Mongolian journalists, having conducted this research on their labor situation by the Press Institute of Mongolia. The general information of the situation has now become available. From here on, it is now the time for Mongolian journalists to decide whether or not they should unite for their own rights and interests, creating their trade union. We would be happy to learn that the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Union, which we partner with, to have expanded with journalists.”

After the study was introduced, leader of the group of journalists who initiated establishing a trade union for those working in the media sector of Mongolia, journalist N.Bolormaa said, “The research shows the need of having a trade union established for journalists in Mongolia. Thus, we call for journalists to unite for our rights. Although we now have valid proof, it is only the beginning of our work. Labor rights are our rights and freedom. It is only once we work towards validating it that journalism in Mongolia becomes independent and ethical.”

According to the study, it was found that 54 percent of the workers in the media sector is ready to be involved if the trade union is established. To the question whether they think a trade union is required for the media sector, 62 percent answered that it was absolutely necessary, 12 percent answered that trade union could be established at each organization, while 21 percent answered unsure and 5 percent answered unnecessary.