Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA),while appreciating the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry for itsinitiative to review the guidelines for scribe’s welfare schemes, urged themainstream media houses and seasoned journalists to display transparencies intheir own financial transactions to qualify themselves for such benefits.
The forum of scribes also opined that themedia houses should show their balance-sheets every year and workingjournalists make self-declarations about their assets along with liabilities asthey demand transparencies from concerned individuals in other sectors so thatthey can lessen the erosion of goodwill from the valued readers, listeners andviewers before it’s too late.
It may be mentioned that the I&Bministry prefers to have a look at the existing guidelines of various journo-welfareschemes and get appropriate recommendations for the required changes. Thechanging media scenario has inspired and made it necessary to define the term‘working journalists’, who are engaged with both traditional and modern/digitalmedia outlets.
The review committee is expected tomaintain the parity between the government accredited and non-recognizedscribes as the acknowledgement rules vary from State to State. For any reason,an accredited journalist should not be considered as an elite, because thestatus could be altered with the change professional portfolios in mediahouses.
The committee, headed by renowned journalistAshok Kumar Tandon, comprises senior scribes namely Sachidanand Murthy, ShekharAiyar, Amitabh Sinha, Shishir Kumar Sinha, Ravinder Kumar, Hitesh Shankar,Smriti K Ramachandran, Amit Kumar, Vasudha Venugopal along with Kanchan Prasadfrom Press Information Bureau and is expected to submit its report within twomonths.
“We need to discuss on the importance ofdigital (alternate) media and if the journalists engaged with those outlets canbe recognized as working journalists enabling them for getting all kinds oflegitimate government benefits,” said JFA president Rupam Barua and secretaryNava Thakuria, adding that the professional journalists should establish theirintegrity first.