By Pradeep Kumar
The Northeast India Federation of Journalists (NIFJ), during NE Journalists Conclave-2018, after threadbare discussions, strongly favoured enactment of Journalist Welfare Act to ensure security, safety and payment of the journalists, particularly those working in small newspapers across the nation.
Indian Journalist Union president S N Sinha clarified that the IJU has been consistently working to achieve it, which was supported by IUJ vice president Gitarth Pathak, NIFJ president Sajat Ali & secretary general Vedabrata Lahkar.
Highlighting the challenges and problems confronting them, most of the participants from Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland besides Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists Union president Amar Sangno & general secretary Ronju Dodum pinpointed that most of the newspaper establishments have neither implemented Wage Board recommendations, Contributory Provident Fund (CPF), pay structure & insurance scheme etc, while hire and fire policy is common even without issuing any appointment letter.
Sinha categorically clarified that most of the issues across the country, while CPF is mandatory for all establishments.
However, the Supreme Court has made pay structure mandatory for which the APUWJ should take up with the GoAP to form a tripartite committee involving the journalists, management and the Govt to study and recommend pay structures or else it would amount to contempt of court.
Clarifying to various queries Sinha said that, if the Govt is not clearing advertisement bills of any newspaper establishment it could move the Press Council of India, the way one organization of Sikkim had moved against DAVP.
The accredited journalist are granted 50% railway concession on official duty to the journalists besides thrice along with journalists by the Govt. of India besides medical facilities with CGHS cards, while, Pathak suggested to hold training on ethics to boost skill.
Responding to a report on Behali incident by some Guwahati-based electronic media, both said such reports to evoke communal clashes are against the ethics of journalism.