The case against Canal Capital, the television platform of the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, continues to advance at an accelerated pace. After the complaints of councilors, workers and former employees of the public communication system denounced massive layoffs, outsourcing of contracts, reduction of the size of production, among other situations, came the determination of the District Attorney, which has already made two review visits to the entity.
In it, an analysis was made of the budget execution and the hiring of 2020 and 2021, thanks to which it was determined that there have indeed been decreases in the hiring of personnel due to a change in the programming schedule, which resolved to move from 70 percent journalistic, to 70 percent academic, cultural and urban, with an important emphasis on the child segment.
That said, the Personería assured that from the channel “indicate that it went from a model of hiring people to a new model of hiring producers.”
Likewise, the District Ministry stated that, “During the visits, attended by the directors of Canal Capital, it was reported that in recent months they were notified of 8 sentences that force them to pay about $ 1.8 billion submitted by contractors who had continuous ties for several years and were not renewed. Currently, there are more than 20 such lawsuits”.
All these must be assumed and covered by the entity, which explains in part the problems that it is presenting at the moment.
However, the investigations will continue: “The information received in the visits, the supports that must be provided for the contracting and budget execution they will be material for analysis to determine if there were irregularities inside the city’s public channel,” said the Personería.
It is worth remembering that journalists such as Manuel Salazar, who was part of Canal Capital, affirm that they have received complaints of announcements made by the outsourcing management in the next few days of the current contracts, and that between June 20 and 30 they were fired 25 people.
In addition, the complaints indicate that the channel went from having 15 cameras to two, it only has three journalists and two cameramen, while the rest of the staff is covered by unpaid practitioners with extended hours.
An employee of the district company assured the Blu Radio station that currently the channel is with 30% of what it normally had and they were notified that a company would arrive to hire the staff.
Likewise, the editing and production rooms, such as cameras, microphones and other technological assets, would be rented to production companies that would be making the contents of the Channel, as W Radio learned, when, according to the complainants, it had been strengthened to function autonomously in recent years.
The management of Canal Capital, however, issued a statement after the complaints were known, through which it denied that they are true and affirmed that it is a reduction of resources due to the pandemic, as well as a protection of the themselves.
He affirmed that outsourcing is false, but that due to the economic reactivation of the audiovisual sector in the city, during 2020 they opened public calls for that sector, to which 49 production houses were presented, for the award of 10 projects that, he said, generated 600 jobs for the execution of projects called, strategic and directly produced.
“In this process of democratization of production, this year 14 projects were summoned and 6 were awarded; With this, we created 400 jobs in the audiovisual sector. In other words, in these two years, which have been so critical, we managed to generate work for a thousand people in Bogotá, among scriptwriters, actors, cameramen, producers, technicians, among others,” the channel said in a statement.
The management also argued that the claim of massive layoffs is false, although it announced that the contracts of “a group of collaborators” of audiovisual projects will not be renewed in whole or in part.
“The collateral effects of the pandemic have not been unrelated to our operation, Since March 2020 the realization of massive events has been restricted, therefore the equipment intended for live broadcasts is smaller, despite this, for several months in 2020 and 2021 we avoided making the decision to do without their services. The resources are finite and we must strive for their optimization”, added Canal Capital.
The complaints of late payments to drivers, according to management, are false because the channel does not have such personnel or vehicles, which are hired through a summons process.
He affirmed that Canal Capital is not in liquidation as some of the complainants and journalists pointed out, but that it is a process of renewal.
“Today the Channel is more alive than ever, Capital has designed alternative and innovative content, we have evolved from a model based on the rental of robust technology cameras to the implementation of lightweight technology. For the audience it means new narratives and aesthetics to document the current situation of our city.”
In its defense, Capital’s management cited the recognitions obtained during 2020, such as the India Catalina Award, the nomination of the series Do not exaggerate, Enzo at the Festival comKids Prix Jeunesse Iberoamericano, the TAL award, among others.
In addition, it announced a new channel of the same media system that will be called Eureka and will be directed with programming for boys and girls.
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