Teachers, journalists urge media owners, editors to combat crisis without cutting jobs

  • News Desk, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-07-19 23:08:44 BdST


Teachers of journalism and journalists have called for media owners and editors to refrain from cutting jobs to resolve the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Underlining the media's role as 'essential' to any democratic state, they urged media owners to find a way out of the crisis without reducing pay or cutting jobs, 60 journalism teachers and 16 journalists said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The signatories include Prof Shakhawat Ali Khan, Prof Golam Rahman and Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique.

With the country's economy reeling from the pandemic outbreak, media companies are in a crisis as many advertisers pulled out, leaving newspapers and TV stations in the lurch.

"We have come to know that many newspaper and television channel owners/authorities decided to cancel their employees' Eid allowances a month after the general holiday designed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic was enforced at the end of March," the statement read.

"We noticed with concern that some media companies plan to send their employees into mandatory unpaid leaves or terminate contracts," it added.

"Under the circumstances, it is impossible for someone to get a new job after losing one," the signatories said in the statement.

The statement pointed out that the profitable and larger newspapers were going through the crunch, while the situation was graver for the smaller ones.

Calling the sacking of employees an 'easy, traditional method' to battle the crisis, it said: "To counter this grave crisis, the owners of media houses can ask the government to provide loans on the most comfortable terms."

"Media owners' associations can think about creating a joint fund to get out of the crisis," the statement added.

The signatories called upon the public and private sectors to come forward to resolve the financial crisis in the media sector through combined efforts. They also called for focusing their efforts towards "increasing advertisements and boosting the earnings" of news publishers.