Srinagar: Small and medium newspapers have urged upon the government to give them a breather in wake of the prevailing situation in Kashmir from past over one year.
President of Jammu and Kashmir Journalists Union (JKJU) in a communiqué to the Director of Department of Information & Public Relations has said that it’s the need of the hour to get newspaper industry back on track. It said that most of the small and medium newspapers are not able to pay their journalists and other employees or are making excessive cuts in their salaries.
“The entire staff has faced a severe crisis in upbringing of their families. To overcome this situation, state governments should come forward so that the fourth pillar of democracy can be kept alive,” he said.
“Small & medium newspapers have been hit by the “triple whammy” of coronavirus, plummeting advertising and customs duty on newsprint, which has led to a situation where many small and medium newspapers have already suspended publishing and others have cut pages to unprecedented levels.”
Syed Junaid Ul Islam, National Vice President, National Union of Journalists (India) New Delhi, in the communiqué said that they demand the state government to extend the relief being granted to other industries, to newspapers too, and also sought a 50% increase in the advertisement rates of government as well as a 200% increase in the budget spend for the print media. “The JKJU requests Information Department to immediate release of all outstanding advertising dues,” he said.
Pertinently, DIPR has dispatched a letter to small and medium range newspapers demanding verification of circulation regularity, content, etc of newspaper and other publications.
JKJU, while requesting for an open session with the Director Information, has said that the exact number of circulations in present situation is not possible for small and medium publications in the limited infrastructure as the circulations have been fluctuating due to post Article 370 abrogation situation and COVID-19 pandemic. KNT