We at OC Media follow a number of internal policies to ensure we act on the values we profess.
No cronyism and nepotism
Unfortunately, no matter where you are, journalism is a field that is not immune to favouritism, nepotism, and ties of blood or faith or clan winning out over merit when staffing decisions are made. In the Caucasus, sadly, this problem is particularly acute.
Different forms of favouritism have a devastating effect on the ability of local organisations to excel, innovate, and grow. It deprives young talent of chances to prove itself and contributes to the massive brain drain in the region. It’s also only one short step away from corruption.
We’ve seen corruption in the civil society sector and many of us had doors shut in our faces because we weren’t friends with the right people. That’s why we’ve committed ourselves to a transparent hiring process, openly announcing new openings — as long as there are no security constraints.
A fair hiring process costs us a lot of energy, but we believe that everyone deserves a chance and that we deserve the best. It’s a win for us, win for you, and a win for the region.
The real picture of the Caucasus is diverse: many ethnicities, religions, languages, and gender identities.
Unfortunately, this picture has been distorted by the dominance of men and majority groups. The privilege of men and people of dominant ethnicity, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation is visible, even in nominally liberal or progressive organisations in civil society.
We want our team to reflect the real picture of the Caucasus, this is why in our hiring process we pay special attention to women and members of minority groups — we want to employ and nurture that talent which has been made invisible or been suppressed. Plus, it makes our organisation that much better for it!
Currently, our staff is 60% women and includes people of ethnic minority backgrounds, different religious affiliations, and sexual orientations.
Unfair treatment based on one’s age, disability, family status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic characteristics, marital status, nationality, colour, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or social class is strictly forbidden at OC Media.
Media in the Caucasus is chronically underfunded and journalists and editors often work for salaries that don’t reflect our times. The region might be affordable for someone with a Western salary, but it’s very difficult to survive on some $320 gross a month, which we estimate is the average salary for a journalist in Georgia. Low earnings are a major factor for media professionals switching to different jobs and the decrease in the quality of media overall.
We believe that people should receive fair remuneration for their work and we do our best to offer our staff members and freelancers payment that reflects their skill, experience, and effort. We want to bring back dignity to our profession and the first step is to make sure that our employees can afford a meaningful existence.
For our full-time staff members we follow the Georgian labour code and offer 24 days of paid leave and enforce 40-hour working week.
Additionally, all full-time staff members are offered health insurance.
Without the right infrastructure, it’s difficult to be environmentally friendly. We sort waste and carry it to the rare and rather far-away specialised containers for recycling, though we do also acknowledge that this doesn’t mean much if the solution isn’t systemic.
We don’t own cars and mostly rely on public transport, we don’t print anything more than absolutely necessary, and when we can we save water and electricity. We pay attention to our carbon footprint and will speak up for any policies that will make our efforts collective rather than uncoordinated and dispersed.