New Delhi: The President of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) K Vikram Rao has urged the state governments to follow the Delhi government in implementing of the Majithia Wage Board wages for journalists and non-journalists, already endorsed by the Supreme Court.
Hailing Delhi Rural Development Minister Gopal Rai for strict implementation of the Working Journalists Act which includes jail term for defaulters in implementing the act, he ruled that successive governments for the past several years have been patronising the newspaper owners.
‘Defying press freedom, these newspaper owners have taken complete control over the functioning of the scribes,’ Mr Rao observed.
Indian Federation of Working Journalists Vice-President Gopal Misra stated that the organisation has also taken cognisance of the fact that in national dailies, journalists are required to report to the marketing department. ‘Scribes work as bonded labourers as they are hired on contracts and are made to sign on declaration that they are receiving wage board salaries,’ Mr Misra lamented. ‘The situation for worse has taken a ugly turn in state capitals,’ Mr Misra noted. Like in West Bengal, where the services of large number of journalists are being terminated and the Mamata Banerjee dispensation is siding with the owners, he remarked.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court has granted a historic verdict favouring the Journalists in India that mandated a prescribed standard of Wages as suggested by the Majithia Wage Board Committee. The Print Media owners were reluctant to implement the same owing to the declining growth and fortune of the Industry due to the entry of electronic media and Digital Media.