The National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ) and the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ), have called for the widest possible unity on common issues, taking in view increasing dangers to journalists, their very livelihood and increasing dangers to press freedom today. They have stressed the necessity of a ‘save journalism’ movement.
Twin dangers to the profession are emerging, they said, both from select press barons and the government- that seek to reduce journalism to government tom-tomming on issues ranging from the protests against the Labour Codes to the current farmer struggles and common peoples struggles. Besides, the situation in the emerging TV and wide spectrum media for journalists and co-workers is deplorable, with jungle law prevalent.
In a joint press statement today the President of the National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ) S.K.Pande, Secretary General N.Kondaiah, DUJ General Secretary Sujata Madhok, APWJF General Secretary G.Anjaneyulu, C.Murali Secretary NAJ Banglore, V.Srinivas Vice President NAJ, Convenor of Andhra Pradesh Broadcast Journalists Association K. Muniraju and Jyothi Basu, Convenor Telangana Broadcast Journalists Association, regretted that news of the mass scale retrenchment of journalists and co-workers has been deliberately suppressed . Retrenchments and closures have been increasing manifold using Covid 19 as a pretext, they added, even in the capital of India.
The joint statement adds “While a major English daily from Mumbai and other centers has been closed, of equal concern is the closure of several Urdu newspapers and journals. Many small and medium newspapers have been targeted, and a variety of pressures on TV and Digital media are increasingly becoming visible.
Journalists who have courageously reported from the field, have been attacked even for exposing corruption and inefficiency of the healthcare system. Many have faced the hostility of local administrations and had FIRs filed against them. Further, a large number have contracted the Corona virus, many have been hospitalized and some have died. Of great concern also are increasing reports of journalists being harassed.
This joint statement further notes with concern, the suffering of hundreds of freelance journalists and mofussil correspondents who have not been paid their dues during the pandemic.
The hostility to the struggles of farmers and trade unions is condemnable. It strongly backs the struggle of the farmers and notes attempts to misreport their struggles and demands a fair coverage.