The Press Council of India (PCI) has taken a suo motu cognizance of the termination notice served to more than twenty journalists associated with the Mumbai edition of ‘The Hindu’ in case they fail to resign. In a statement [pdf] issued by PCI, Justice CK Prasad, Chairman Press Council of India, expressed concerns over the issue.
Mumbai editing team down to single digits
Mumbai edition of ‘The Hindu’ was launched in November 2015. As per reports, majority of the team members have been asked to resign, failing which they will be terminated. The journalists who will remain with the Mumbai edition has come down to single digits. A letter is making rounds on social media where a group of twenty journalists, who are allegedly on the verge of losing their job, has sent an email to N Ram, LV Navaneeth, CEO and Suresh Nambath, Editor seeking clarity over the media reports and social media posts speculating about the loss of jobs at the Mumbai edition of ‘The Hindu’ as they have not been formally informed about it by the head office.
The letter states, “All of the undersigned wanted to work at The Hindu, as it has been considered the ideal workplace for Indian journalists, in fact where journalists are well respected and editorial freedoms are a given. The principles on which The Hindu has operated in the past is what should apply to us as a team now. For a news organisation that prides itself on reporting labour laws and violations of the same in a robust manner we appeal to you to clarify the situation to us in writing.” The letter contained names of sixteen out of twenty journalists and the names of four journalists were withheld over privacy concerns.
Management asked to submit reply
PCI said that the Editor, Hindu and Regional General Manager Hindu, Mumbai, have been asked to submit a reply in this concern. “It has come to the notice that the management of the newspaper is not taking recourse to the terms and conditions by which they are governed and the terms and conditions of their appointment excluded the application of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 for redressal of their grievances rendering them remediless,” states the press release.