New Delhi, Mar 4: The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) on Monday called upon the Delhi Government to take the lead in setting up a Delhi Media Commission (DMC) for the print, digital and electronic media, in the lines of the First and Second Press Commissions.
A joint press release issued here by DUJ president SK Pande and general secretary Sujata Madhok said the proposed DMC could look into the "deplorable conditions of journalists and press workers" as well as other problems connected with the industry.
The DUJ released a charter on Monday in this regard. It has called for a permanent wage fixation machinery/wage board, as it is overdue for the entire media. The charter has demanded immediate control of the "menace of contract labour" especially in permanent posts as ‘‘contracts keep journalists subservient and impinge on freedom of the press”.
It has called for implementing the wage board recommendations in a time-bound manner as per Supreme Court judgments. Ms Pande and Ms Madhok further stressed the necessity of an affordable healthcare system. It charged that even today, most employers do not provide any healthcare facilities.
"A large number of journalists are self-employed freelancers, who earn little and require such healthcare support for themselves and their families. The government could also consider extending existing healthcare schemes to the journalist community. Many state governments do offer such facilities to journalists," they added.
The DUJ has also called for a Delhi Media Council comprising the entire wide spectrum media to be a future model to replace the present Press Council of India model - as it is out dated, toothless and limited.
It has called for support for its long standing demand to set up a new Wage board/ new permanent wage fixation mechanism for the wide spectrum media of today.
The charter points out: that it has been three decades now since the Delhi Government allotted cooperative housing plots to journalists and other media employees. The young generation in the profession is forced to live on exorbitant rents in the city or move to the outskirts where rentals are lower. We request the allotment of housing plots to journalists’ organisations to enable the building of affordable cooperative housing. Perhaps such a scheme could incorporate artists, writers and others intellectuals residing in Delhi and its immediate neighborhood.
It is called upon the Delhi Government to introduce a new pension scheme for journalists. "The majority of media workers do not get a pension as they are either contract workers or freelancers. A minority gets a small contributory pension through the Provident Fund authority but this ranges from Rs 500 to Rs 2,500 only. In contrast state governments such as that of Haryana and Kerala among other state provide a pension of Rs10, 000 per month to some journalists. UNI