Kudos to ‘Voice of Lucknow’ and its Editor for Protecting the jobs and Salaries of Journalists

It is feared that two decades hence after there will be no newspapers or magazines in print. This report was published in the ‘Economist’ some three years ago much before the havoc of pandemic. The tentative year is given 2043. Covid 19 has practically pushed print journalism in a deep strait and has accelerated the pace of digital journalism. In a way, it is good for the readers because the newspapers have leapt beyond all geographical boundaries. If a person is sitting in one corner of the globe wants to read a newspaper of his /her area, he/ she can read it in a jiffy on the cell phone that one carries. This is a miracle of science. But it is bad for the newspaper owners and the employees working for them. Thus, the print medium is the worst victim of technological transformation.
In the time of Covid almost all small and medium newspapers had to wind up their shops rendering thousands of employees out of employment. Even big newspapers took recourse to large scale retrenchment of employees. Those employees who were not retrenched were asked to work on reduced/meagre salaries. Even the journalists working for the big media houses like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagran and The Hindu had to face layoffs and substantial monthly wage cuts.
In these circumstances of deep darkness and despondency, it was like a whiff of fresh air to find that comparatively two small newspapers like ‘Voice of Lucknow’(Hindi) and ‘Quami Khabren’ (Urdu) did not remove even a single journalist from the job. Incidentally, both newspapers are owned by the same person. The employees were certainly denied some allowances on their salaries, which were very willingly accepted by the journalists. The credit for saving the jobs and regular payment of the salaries goes to the Editor of the ‘Voice of Lucknow’, Rameshwar Pandey, who saw to it that no journalist was rendered jobless. Shri Pandey has always been empathetic to the workers and has often fought to safeguard their interests. It was good to listen from the employees that the progressive management of the newspaper heeded his advice. What a relief! particularly when the editors and the proprietors of big newspapers have become more cruel and relentless towards employees in the time of Corona.
It is seen that nowadays editors have mostly been playing a second fiddle to the owners. They work more assiduously for the owners than for the cause of the journalists. This is the reason that in most of the newspapers the species called editors are more hated upon by the employees than the proprietors. It is all the more, distressing to see that most of the editors prefer to be bracketed with the managements but when it comes to getting recognition in the society, they always like to be known as the journalists, although they perform the duties of touts and brokers. Anyway, ‘Voice of Lucknow’ and its Editor must be congratulated and emulated for protecting the jobs and wages of the employees.
It pinches, however, that why the owners opted to name a Hindi newspaper with an English name like ‘Voice of Lucknow’.? It can still be renamed with any suitable Hindi name to relate with the people in a better manner.