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The news relating to elections should be impartial

The National Executive Committee meeting of Indian Journalists Union

BENGALURU / The National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of Indian Journalists Union (IJU) held at Bengaluru on 27-28 March in resolution said “the news relating to elections should be impartial. Let the electorate decide whom to vote by applying their own mind so that democracy in the country flourishes”. It also urged the media houses not indulge in perilous practice of paid news which distorts the democratic election process. It said “the media should clearly draw lakshman rekha between news and paid publicity material.” 

The Union called on the working journalists of print and electronic media to refrain from biased reporting in any form of news to influence the voters in favor of or against a political party or candidate during the run up to the elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in some states in the country.  

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU), the most representative organization of the working journalists in the country held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Bengaluru on 27-28 March. The Karnataka State Journalists Federation, the state affiliate of IJU hosted two day meet. About70 journalists from all over the country, including from the north eastern states attended the meeting.

The NEC in another resolution welcomed the recent judgment of Supreme Court upholding constitutional validity of recommendations of the Majithia Wage Boards for the working journalists and other newspaper employees. It also welcomed the ruling of the court upholding the constitutional validity of  the Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1955.  The resolution urged upon all the newspaper managements in the country to implement the new wages from March salary payable in April and pay the arrears in four installments over a period of one year as ordered by the Supreme Court. Otherwise, they would be held for contempt of the apex court as the petition was filed on their behalf by their trade body Indian Newspapers Society (INS) was rejected by it.

The IJU urged upon the Government of India to immediately appoint a tripartite committee to oversee the implementation of the wage board recommendations with working Journalists representative organizations, managements representatives and government officials at the national level. It also demanded that the state governments all over the country should appoint tripartite committees at state level wherever they do not exist. The National Executive called upon its State Unions to get ready to agitate for statutory wages to all working journalists in the country as the legal impediments were removed with the ruling of the Supreme Court.

IJU has observed that no major political party so far has included any legitimate demands of the journalists like implementation of Majhithia Wage awards, safety and security of journalists and other welfare measures. IJU appeals to all political parties to include the legitimate demands of the journalists in their manifestos.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) expressed grave concern over the infamous incident involving former Editor Tarun Tejpal. Condemning it equivocally, it felt that it should be a wake up for all the working journalists organizations and media establishments to take steps to protect the dignity of the female journalists and  appoint Gender councils at all the work places as mandated by the Supreme Court.

In another resolution, the IJU appealed to the central and state government to extend all the welfare schemes taken up by them, like housing, house sites, health schemes, travel facilities etc., to all the working journalists as defined under the Working Journalist Act and not to limit them the accredited journalists. IJU demanded that the newspaper managements should also be involved with their contribution. 

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) in a resolution urged on the Government of India to bring the journalists working in electronic and cyber media bring under the definition of working journalists by amending the provisions of Working Journalists Act 1955. It demanded that the present Press Council of India should be converted in to Media Council of India by bringing print, electronic and cyber media under its regulatory ambit.

Earlier on 27th March, the Union organized a seminar on “Role of Media and Democracy in Elections”. IJU President S N Sinha presided over the seminar. The Hon’ble Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Mr. Kagodu Thimmappa, senior journalist and former Secretary-General of IJU K Sreenivas Reddy, social activist S R Hiremath, Press Council of India member K Amarnath, Aam Aadmi Party Karnataka convener Prithvi Reddy, IJU Secretary-General Devulapalli Amar and others spoke.

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