NEW DELHI, March 26 - Expressing concern and distress over reports that the circulation network of newspapers was disrupted in several parts of the country, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) demanded that the media, particularly small and medium newspapers, should be included in the stimulus package announced by the Union government on Thursday as they were among the worst hit.
Stating that the newsagents and distribution boys stopped delivering newspaper copies to the readers due to coronavirus scare since the lockdown, the IJU demanded that the health insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person announced for healthcare workers be extended to working journalists, who were performing their duty despite lockdown.
In a statement issued today, IJU president K Sreenivas Reddy and secretary general Balwinder Singh Jammu said due to some irresponsible messages in social media that the dreaded virus could be transmitted through newspaper copies, which were denied by the Union government and experts, several agents refused to deliver newspaper copies. According to reports, some small and medium newspapers have stopped publication due to circulation difficulties and dip in advertisement revenue.
The IJU regretted that several people cancelled their newspaper subscriptions, impacting the circulation of newspapers, and appealed to the readers not to be misled by such baseless and untrue apprehensions and continue to patronise newspapers to get authentic coverage on the dreaded virus. It also urged the government to take steps to ensure smooth last mile distribution of newspapers.