Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Why newspaper managements are worried after Supreme court upholds Majithia wage board's validity?

Since the Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the Majithia wage board, the owners of the newspapers are worried.

The reason is that they will have to give due salaries to the staff which was denied by them earlier with the connivance of 'Managers'.

The management of most newspapers cleverly forced journalists to take up contract. But once most journalists came on contract, the salaries were not revised.

The basic salary remained the same for years. The reason was that newspaper managements are run by the managers who get salaries in tens of lakhs, even crores.

How can newspapers who sell for Rs 2-5 bear such extravagant salaries? This was managed by the Human Resources (HR) wings of each company, which hired editors at huge salaries. Now the editors were in the bracket of top managers.

As editors were happy getting sky-rocketing raises on their salaries, they became puppets of the management. They turned tough and insensitive towards the rest of the staff. To justify their salaries and keep their own job, editors listened to whatever the management asked them to do.




So a manager who does nothing in sales, gets Rs 5 lakh per month, but a journalist who is the mainstay of the newspaper, gets Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 or in some papers Rs 25,000-50,000. Some get even less than Rs 10,000 in their companies.

The editor is always ready to sign any order of retrenchment because he or she needs HR's goodwill to continue their job. These changes took place in Indian media industry from late 90s, and at a fast speed after the year 2000.

The nexus of HR managers and editors, hurt journalists badly. Journalism is the lone industry where the person who practices it gets the least salary. Vice-presidents and managers get huge amount of money. To keep this flow, journalists are sacked or their salaries not increased.

The Majithia wage board intends to correct this anomaly. But will the management let it go easily? Only time will tell. There are attempts to find out a way so that the companies don't have to pay the increased salaries to journalists.

Some newspaper organisations are trying to turn their contract employees as 'employees hired through placement agencies' to avoid paying money. Others are trying different ways. Everyone is thinking whether the recommendations will be implemented?

For now, read about the Apex court judgment and other ramifications at the website of Indian Journalist Union. The recommendations are available at this link on the same website.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Indian Express report terms stateless Rohingyas as 'infiltrators'

Poor, persecuted, forced to flee, seen as INFILTRATORS
It is perhaps criminal to be poor. Even Indian Express is now resorting to similar journalistic practices.

In a recent report about Rohingyas, the newspaper termed their arrival as 'infiltration'. The tone is always different when it comes to similar group of persecuted people coming to India from other countries.

Either its Pakistan or Afghanistan, there is suddenly a humanitarian angle visible in the newspaper reports.

There is focus on their plight, need for support and how to help rehabilitate them. But when the most persecuted minority in the world, Rohingays, who were forced to flee from Myanmar, arrived here, they aren't seen as 'humans' or even 'asylum-seekers'.

They are straight termed as 'infiltrators' who can pose 'security risk'. Indian Express journalist Vijaita Singh in her report titled 'Rohingya Muslims infiltration on agenda' mentioned how the Rohingyas have been caught and are now put in jail in India.

Surely, we can expect our journalists to be similar in their approach towards all human beings, who have suffered persecution--rape, killings and genocide. Nepal remained a different kingdom for ages but its citizens are allowed a free entry.

Even persecuted citizens from Pakistan can come, but standards are different for Burma i.e. Myanmar, which was once part of India. Isn't this a totally biased approach? Persecuted people should be considered as human beings, not as 'infiltrators'.

From the headline to the report, lot of things are not one expects from a national daily. If mainstream English newspapers like Indian Express do it, then it is surely a cause of concern. 


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Media persons Rajesh Verma, Israr Khan killed in communal riot in Muzaffarnagar: Deaths of journalists in India

Two journalists Rajesh Verma and Israr Khan have been killed in the communal clash in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh that has so far claimed nine lives.

*We mourn all the deaths including the sad demise of the two journalists.

*We strongly condemn the use of the word 'stringer' for Rajesh Verma

*We are also condemn TV channels, newspapers who ignore photographer Israr Khan

*We urge media men to express solidarity with the victims of the tragedy

*We request entire journalism fraternity to join hands and express solidarity with families of the two journalists  

*We expect the Centre to take a serious view of the law-and-order situation in UP

*We also want stern action against those using old photographs and circulating them as pictures of Muzaffarnagar violence to create further hatred.

The journalists have paid their lives in the line of duty. It is a sad day for journalists and a moment to reflect that how journalists working in districts (away from metropolitan cities and capitals), keep working in tough situations and sacrifice their lives. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Juvenile Journalists: Deepak Sharma laments media coverage on Ishrat Jahan encounter, exposes himself

Journalist Deepak Sharma recently posted, 'Sara Jahan aur Ek Ishrat Jahan', a longish post on social networking site Facebook.

Sharma, who has covered crime [seeking glory by talking to underworld dons in Dubai over phone and in process glorifying them] and police, for years expressed his outrage that how Ishrat Jahan's killing in the 'fake encounter' was getting far more attention than other issues.

The Aajtak journo wrote that in the times of Uttarakhand tragedy, such attention to other cases was unwarranted. Really! He asked lot of questions but shouldn't he, being part of the media, answer it?

Who is focusing more on Ishrat case? Isn't it media? The journalist conveniently forgot that the case of 'a child's custody in Norway' or a 'woman's death because of strict laws against abortion in Ireland' also became big stories.

This is because one story raises an issue that affects thousands or even lakhs. The Ishrat Jahan encounter is not the story of a person or four persons' extra-judicial killing. It is about thousands who are killed by the colluding cops in the same manner from Manipur to Gujarat.

Mostly, the poor are killed and hence the policemen are able to scare off their relatives from raising the issue. Encounters are sometimes for medals. Sometimes, when there is a high crime rate, the police officers decide that an encounter will give them a 'manly image'.

They feel media would show police in positive light for 'wiping out crime'. Journalists are more than willing to publish police version. No one dares to write against police. As the victims are poor, they don't have resources to approach higher courts.

The situation is so bad that journalists know there is no TRP in talking to victims. The poor whose face or plight won't draw viewers on television (they feel so). So everything is hushed up. Ishrat case has become a rallying point because though belonging to a lower middle class family, her relatives are educated.

She was also a bright girl. Now this case has reached higher courts because of the determination of the family and some lawyers and activists. With conviction of criminal cops and IPS officers, the malaise of 'fake encounters' will be checked.

Cops know well who are to be executed--those who have no such background to evoke sympathy, those whose relatives can't fight long legal battle, those who can be threatened and silenced. Who would dare to fight policemen for years?

It is a tendency that journalists working on a 'beat' often lose objectivity and get sympathetic towards the officials of that department, rather than citizens. But senior journalists should desist from it. Journalists' job is to expose the corruption and rot in the system.

They should be the voice of people. In his message, Sharma even went with seeing it as Hindu Vs Muslim, Congress Vs BJP and goes ahead with cheap sarcasm. It is shameful to see so-called senior journalists who have legitimised underworld dons for years, trying to stop wheels of justice from moving.

Sharma writes in the status message that it is a Congress driven investigation. Here he is speaking like a Saffron activist, seeing everything from the world vision of the Sangh Parivar. Does he not know that it is totally a court ordered investigation?

In a way, its good also. It exposes journalists and we are able to see, how humane or inhuman they could be in their attitude. Forget, journalism, many don't even have the basic values of humanism and have probably no understand of democracy, law and justice.


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