: SOLIDARITY MEETING ON: JOURNALISTIC FREEDOM AND CORPORATE OWNERSHIP OF MEDIA IN THE WAKE OF RECENT CNN-IBN LAY OFF : Date: August 31, 2013. Time: 11.30 am : Venue: Press Club of India, Raisina Road, Delhi-01 : Dear Friends, The recent sacking of CNN-IBN and IBN 7 journalists is not just an isolated incident, there has been a number of examples where corporate media owners/managements have violated the labor rules and exploited journalists and other media workers. Hiring and firing has become a common phenomenon in Indian media industry. There are no fixed working hours.
This is an irony that press council of India’s chairman Markanedy Katju and Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tiwari are trying to divert the issue of the job security of media persons. They are raising the issue of qualification and license for journalists as if only journalists are responsible for the degradation of Indian media. Why don’t they question the corporate media owners who have no qualification except the power of money? Many corrupt business houses are entering in the news media business to promote their other business interests in the name of media.
There is a danger of media consolidation in India. Only a handful of big companies are holding many media entities including Radio, TV, Internet and Print. They are trying to manufacture public opinion in their own interests. In a way, corporate are running our media without any responsibility! Corporate are putting our democracy on ransom!!!
Journalists’ Solidarity Forum (JSF) is a loosely knitted body of journalists. We are asking for the democratization of Indian media. We are against whims and fancies of powerful corporate and their agents politicians/editors. We demand that there should be a strong measure to regulate the ownership of media. We must not leave media on the mercy of corporate. Self regulation is a fake idea projected by corporate. Freedom of press is not the freedom of profiteering media owners! And we want to proclaim that Corporate media editors/managing editors are not the representatives of journalists. They are only the agents of media owners/managements. EXPOSE THEM!
We are the common journalists who don’t draw vulgar salaries in crores of rupees. We work on contractual basis. We don’t have any job security. Corporate Owners and management have made it completely impossible to form a union in any media house. They have even got success to tag journalist union activity as criminal act. We are against this corporate highhandedness!
If CNN-IBN journalists had journalists union the management would not have dared to sack around 400 journalists at one go.
Thus we demand:
-Immediately implement the Working Journalists Act in EVERY media organization which has provision of fixed working hours, job security and right to form a union!
-Declare Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 minimum wage for entry level journalists and implement Majithia Wage Board report for all working journalists!
-Immediately stop cross media holding and other mal practices like Paid News, Private Treaties and Medianet! Make strong rules for corporate media ownership and Ensure democratization of media!
-Establish third Press Commission to investigate the current state of Indian media and make a mandatory its recommendations.
We solicit your presence on 31 august 2013 at Press Club of India. We are inviting many journalists, academics, writers, film makers, student leaders and other concerned people to discuss the issue and decide further course of action. Your solidarity will definitely count in the democratization of Indian media and the rights of journalists!
Released by Bhupen Singh
on behalf of Journalists Solidarity Forum (JSF)