Rosa Vidal, the director of Valencia regional television and radio broadcaster RTTV, announced her resignation and that of the public broadcaster’s board after the Popular Party (PP) regional government said it planned to shut the organization down. Vidal said the decision was due to a “lack of confidence” in the administration of premier Alberto Fabra, which she accused of being “economical with the truth.”
Meanwhile, RTVV staff have hit back at the decision to shut down the entire company in the most unprecedented of ways: since Fabra announced on Wednesday that the closure was “not negotiable,” after the courts reversed a labor force adjustment plan (ERE) obliging the reinstatement of 1,000 laid-off employees, RTVV programming has been dedicated to dressing down the Popular Party administration in Valencia.
The 2pm news on Nou (formerly Canal 9) opened with the title: “Fabra is dodging responsibility.” The entire program was filled with debate on the closure, with many interviewees calling for the resignation of the politicians responsible. Employees at RTVV said the executive board members remained in their offices at the headquarters and were simply allowing their staff to roll out the criticisms.
Images of protests against the shutdown were broadcast. Street interviews were carried out. The five-minute strike of solidarity staged at 1pm in support by the rest of Spain’s regional broadcasters received top billing.
Perhaps the fiercest attack came from Iolanda Mármol, a Canal 9 journalist. On her Twitter account, she published a scathing litany of imposed style and censorship on the part of the PP regional government, which since assuming power in 1995 had used the regional station as its personal mouthpiece. “I remember when [former regional premier Francisco] Camps laid down the law at Canal 9. We were told to stop calling him Francesc at the time he was positioning himself as a possible successor to Mariano Rajoy. I was prevented from reporting that [former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez] Zapatero had announced the baby bond [a 2,500-euro payment for new parents], as if this would stop Valencians from finding out.
“When we wrote ‘resounding failure’ it would be changed to ‘modest success.’ I was told off because my Catalan accent had come out and that would annoy the anti-Catalans. I also remember when the PP won on election nights and the champagne would flow on the executive floors of Canal 9, while the journalists ate salami sandwiches. And the millions of times I wasn’t allowed to print declarations by the opposition, or by any citizen criticizing the PP, or the regional government. We weren’t even allowed to use the word ‘cutbacks.’ We couldn’t write that anti-government protests collapsed the Paseo del Prado in Madrid. They merely ‘passed through.’ It got to the stage where you were ashamed to work for them.”