Judging by the programming movement, anyone would say that the “serious internal crisis” of RTVE started with the appointment of Rosa María Mateo as sole administrator in July 2018. Just one month after promising the position, pledging to regain credibility of the public entity, the journalist switched from top to bottom TVE and it has continued to do so during these two years, which were, in principle, provisional.
However, this stage is only a prolongation of what has been happening on public television since its foundation: “The lack of transparency” and “the compadreo”, according to lifelong workers with whom it has contacted The HuffPost.
“We have been defending public service for many years, regardless of who governs. We must end a series of practices that are not characteristic of a democratic state and public television, “explains one of them, who is part of the union Comisiones Obreras.
With this he refers, like other colleagues with whom this medium has spoken, to “opacity”, to the “lack of transparency”. A clear example: the BBC – the UK’s public radio and television service – publishes on its website who its senior positions are, why there is the role they play, their CVs, why they occupy that position, their photo and his salary. Chain Italian RAI also does. This, they regret, does not occur in the Spanish corporation.
“It is an institution that moves about 1,200 million euros and we do not even know the salary of managers. It has had to be a popular demand that has gone to the Transparency and Good Government Council to request it, ”complains one of the editors of TVE.
In the previous stage to Rosa María Mateo, they assure, RTVE refused to do it, and in the current one as well. Finally, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of transparency. Do you know what happened? Nothing. They have not been published ”, explains another worker of the entity.
The opaque salaries of managers
As they point out, the high positions receive a base salary and have increases that no one knows: “From time to time they appear because one has been angry with another and they say ‘this year this manager has put a productivity bonus of 20,000 euros.”
These are not scandalous figures considering that, as they also point out, among managers outside the agreement, the one who earns the least receives more than what the law says for public officials. “More than 105,000 euros. Everyone earns more. We know this because some payroll has once come into our hands. If that is correct, nothing happens, but what I earn the Treasury knows and is public, “says one of the corporation’s workers.
There are currently 168 managers in the house, some of them “recommended by politicians, people who have no idea of the company, who earn a salary of 200,000 euros a year. I know more than one ”, indicates another one of them.
RTVE sources consulted by The HuffPost They assure that the salaries of the managers are transparent because they depend on the General State Budgets, but that they are not published with names and surnames. “All the expenses of RTVE are registered in the Court of Accounts”, they clarify. However, RTVE will not give an official response to this matter.
A state problem
As they say, “it is a State problem” because public television should be a reference for citizens. It goes far beyond the issue of television programming, although in this matter they also bring to light a grim operation.
“The problem with the approval of the programming is that it does not respond to a criterion of the public, in fact there is no criterion. There is no council that takes care of this based on the parameters that Spanish society needs. It is much more cretin. There are simply production companies that come and say ‘this’ and there are people who sign them. There is a lot of compadreo ”, they denounce.
“We want things to be clear. The zero point has to be transparency and truthfulness ”, they determine. And they make it clear that it is not something that pertains only to the time of Rosa María Mateo, but that it is “a practice that has been ongoing since the founding of the corporation, but the law itself has protected it.”
All these workers belong to the RTVE platform without personnel. They are professionals who have been in the corporation for more than 20 years, who work under minimal conditions due to lack of hands and with obsolete tools. They know the guts of RTVE and “they are not going against any government” but in search of a “democratic regeneration”, so that “those underlying problems that a majority does not want to see or decide to look the other way are addressed.”
Who is behind ‘TVE Libre’
In the antipodes of ‘RTVE without personnel’ there is another platform that makes a lot of noise and that does have its focus on Rosa María Mateo. This is the Twitter account Free TVE Platform, which emerged in October 2018.
According to one of the most legendary faces of TVE, all workers are clear that behind that account “destitute professionals have been hiding since she entered the corporation.” In the profile all kinds of news are shared that question the journalist’s management.
The “serious internal crisis”
What the workers who have spoken with this medium denounce is already known to the Congress of Deputies. On July 15 the committee of experts that screened the candidates to form part of the current board of directors warned of a “serious internal crisis” within public radio television. In their letter sent to Congress and the Senate, and signed by 13 of the 17 members, they spoke of “lobbies and known interests that always try to put sticks on the wheels of RTVE’s democratic reform, urging a regression towards their main endemic disease: thousands of honest and effective professionals and managers, frequently ruined by quotas of partisan militants ”. And they add that Matthew has changed too many positions since her first few weeks as administrator.
The Congress, before the petition for amparo, He responded five days after the news came out in the media:
“What is by no means acceptable is that insidious comments are poured out on these criticisms about the non-existent anonymous nature of the report, or about the supposed ‘coincidence with the positions of known lobbies and interests that always try to put sticks on the wheels of the democratic reform of RTVE ‘. The report is from the General Secretariat of the Senate and is not anonymous. It has been carried out motivationally and rigorously, and it intends to comply with the provisions of the legal system. It can legitimately disagree with its content, but in an open and democratic society it is untenable that the lack of substantive arguments is intended to be saved with veiled accusations of maneuvers and collusions that are frontally opposed to impartiality, political neutrality and professionalism, which are demandable of us and which we always respect. in the exercise of our function ”.
After two years of comings and goings, with movements of professionals on the grid and exits of others on the screen that Rosa María Mateo justified as decisions made “after analyzing audiences”, the journalist will appear again in Congress for the last dismissals and appointments, following a request from the PP.
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This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.