The Accredited Journalists Association, AJA (R) on the occasion of National Press Day on Tuesday vociferously raised the demands to ensure the rights of pandemic-hit journalists and their families In a press conference at the Press Club of India, the active body of AJA (R) demanded the union and state government to look after the families of those Covid warrior journalists who lost their lives in their line of duty.
Shri Ramakant Goswami, Senior Journalist and former Minister, Govt. Of Delhi in his address said, "The devastating impact of covid can be clearly seen in top media houses. Many journalists have lost their jobs and opted for something other than his professional skills. But the smaller media publications don't get much attention. It is high time for the government to see through it and provide compensation to the families of journalists."
Vijay Shankar Chaturvedi, President, Accredited Journalist Association (R) in his address said, "There are many unprecedented stories of covid warrior journalists who sacrificed their lives during their reportage on covid and lockdown. It is very unfortunate that despite their ultimate sacrifice, their families were left to run pillar to post for livelihood. We demand that government must pay 50 lakh to 1 crore compensation must be given to families of deceased Covid warrior journalists. It will help their families sustain the impact of the devastating loss of their loved ones."
Guest of Honour Shri Umakant Lakhera in his address said, "The regional and local newspapers and stringers are the backbones of top-notch media houses in the country. Pandemic has affected their profession, ultimately their livelihood. We as a watchdog of journalism collectively opine that everyone should come forward in support of those who informed us about every health-related information on coronavirus while the rest of the country was under a nationwide lockdown. We demand that all those 60+ journalists who lost their bread and butter due to the pandemic must be given a compensation amount of 25000/month."
Media educator Manoj Kumar Sharma said, "I urge all state governments, Union territories, and the central government to implement a group insurance scheme for the journalists. The bodies of the press must pitch the governments to include the journalists in the category of 'COVID warriors' like doctors, confer them with similar benefits and grant immediate financial aid to the kin of all those journalists who died due to Covid."