Delhi Union of Journalists asks MPs to speak up for journalists, media freedom
The body demanded a special law for the protection of journalists including repeal of criminal defamation provisions and the withdrawal of draconian indefinite detention laws like sedition and UAPA
The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) has appealed to all the Members of Parliament and leaders of political parties to speak up for the freedom of media that is facing an unprecedented crisis and exhort the government to take immediate remedial measures.
In a memorandum to all the MPs and chiefs of various political parties on Friday, the DUJ underlined the precarious working conditions of the journalists and how the new Labour Codes and online media rules will finish off journalists and journalist.
“We appeal to you all to save the media today from both the government’s arbitrary new laws and rules for the media as well as the massive layoffs by managements. The new Labour Codes threaten the very survival of journalism and journalists in the newsprint media while new Rules for digital media threaten its independence and survival,” the journalists body said in the memorandum.
“The government should withdraw the digital media Rules immediately and Parliament should take a stand on this issue of press freedom,” it said.
It pointed out that the number of journalists against whom FIRs have been filed for stories, Facebook posts, even Tweets is growing at an alarming pace and “obnoxious online abuse and open threats” to journalists, particularly female journalists, have reached “epidemic proportions”.
The body demanded a special law for the protection of journalists including repeal of criminal defamation provisions and the withdrawal of draconian indefinite detention laws like sedition and UAPA.
The DUJ reiterated its demand for the creation of a Media Council as well as a Media Commission on the lines of earlier Press Commissions.
“In sum, we appeal to Parliamentarians to save journalism and journalists for tomorrow. We demand an end to Internet shutdowns. We call for an end to increased interference by the government and for a life of dignity for journalists who are facing the worst working conditions in the past decade,” the memorandum read.
“Simultaneously we call for restoration of labour laws for the profession, both for journalists and co-workers. We say no to the new anti-labour Codes. Lastly, we call for a well thought out Media Council and an autonomous Media Commission to ensure fair wages and working conditions for both the existing and the emerging media,” it added.
Published: 20 Mar 2021, 5:02 PM