The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ), in a pre-Independence Day press release has called upon the Central government to take immediate steps for the constitution of a new wage board for journalists, in the entire news industry, including the electronic media. This it opined should be backed with sterner steps to ensure that the Majithia Wage Board was implemented. Both the processes it felt should now continue together along with concrete moves for a March to Parliament followed by other forms of action.
It has further called upon the government to take urgent steps to ensure a broad based Media Council to replace the outmoded Press Council rather than re- insure that the defunct Press Council be continued through manipulation as is being tried through the backdoor.
Wanted a New Autonomous Media Commission
The meeting also called for announcement of a new Media Commission to look into the entire present wide spectrum media with all its ramifications and ensuring the dignity in fair wages to the entire media today. The emergency meeting of the DUJ executive called upon journalists and press workers to be ready for a march to Parliament in its next session on a common charter of demands- with the march having as its major component, victims of unfair labour practices in the newspaper industry including victims of Majithia Wage Board non-implementation and of attacks on media persons.
The meeting took special note of the plight over hundred starving Patriot & Link workers and over 300 employees of the Hindustan Times Group, some of whom had been arbitrarily dismissed. It also took note of the retrenchment wave in newspapers and the deplorable plight of freelance journalists many of whom wrote for a pittance, while others did not even get payment for months at a stretch.
The DUJ executive noted that the plight of the journalists and press workers in the United News of India (UNI) and called for immediate reprieve through release of due salaries. It was resolved to send open letters to members of Parliament and the Delhi Legislatures within a month and to strive to build the widest possible national of alliance of journalists with press victims.