Editors Guild asks for journalists’ vaccination as front-line workers

The Editors Guild of India condoles Covid-19 deaths of journalists

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Editors Guild of India disturbed by UP's heavy handed treatment of journalists
Siddique Kappan, journalist who was imprisoned by the UP state government for covering the Hathras rape and murder case. Kappan was chained to his bed in the jail where he was ill with Covid-19. Subsequently, the Supreme Court asked for him to be transferred to a hospital in Delhi, saying, "Even an undertrial is entitled to the right to life guaranteed by the Indian constitution. Photo The Leaflet.in

30 April 2021 – The Editors Guild of India condoles the deaths of journalists who have died because of Covid-19 over the past year. In April 2021 itself, more than 52 journalists died because of the virus. Further, according to the Delhi based Institute of Perception Studies, more than 100 journalists have died since the lockdown was first declared from 1 April, 2020 [25 March 2020]. Many of these were brave journalists who had been reporting on the worsening pandemic and bringing to fore stories on the great human tragedy that has been unfolding before us. It also includes editors and other members of the editorial teams who have ensured that newsrooms keep churning out these stories without any break. The Guild pays homage to the fortitude and the commitment to work that these journalists have displayed over the past year.

The Guild is extremely distressed that the central government has yet not taken any steps to hasten the vaccination of journalists over the last few months. Many of them were freelancers and hence were not insured. Others who worked for media organizations did not necessarily enjoy the assurance and comfort of being insured by their companies. To make matters worse, besides the health risks borne out of such reporting, there have been the additional pressures from some of the state governments and agencies that have threatened against independent reporting of the pandemic in an effort to control the media narrative.

The lawyers for traffic accident victims stated that, few weeks ago, EGI had demanded that journalists be declared as frontline workers and be vaccinated on priority to protect them from the new variant. Despite the support from various state governments and media organisations, the central government has not responded to this request. Now, even though vaccination has been technically opened for all above 18 years of age, there is the acute shortage of vaccines.

Therefore the Guild’s urgent demand that journalists be given priority along with other frontline workers. The Guild also urges all media organisations to take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their journalists.

Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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