The pandemic of 2020 did not spared anyone from its repercussions. May it be about global economy or small vendor down the lane, it has hit harder. When the entire finance of the country is shaken ,how come the fourth pillar of our country will remain untouched from the impact. We are talking about the Media industry which is also know as the fourth pillar of our democracy.
Pink slip, salary cut, terminate etc are few words which has been used more than ever for the past few months. We have heard about the layoff happening in almost every sector. The impact of this total lock down because of COVID-19 has made many media person as well sacked from the job.
In the last week of April, the going got tough for employees at Bennett Coleman and Company Limited, or BCCL, also known as the Times Group. The economic stasis induced by the corona virus lock down prompted the company, which owns the Times of India, Economic Times, Mumbai Mirror, and Times Now, to cut salaries and defer increments across departments.
An email by Sivakumar Sundaram, chairman of the executive committee at the BCCL, laid out the reasons for the decision: “Undoubtedly, as with the rest of the economy, a large and widely distributed business in the physical space, bears the brunt of the impact. From our perspective, in just a short period, our circulation has been impacted, supply chain disrupted; production and editorial working in a constrained environment and our sales teams are battling hard to garner advertisement revenues.”
The New Indian Express to shut 8 bureau offices in Kerala .The New Indian Express whose circulation has been on a downward slide in Kerala due to the economic recession and the rising cost of newsprint has been pruning its staff size over the past year. With the uncertainty prevailing over the extended lock down, The Kochi Post has learnt that the south-based The New Indian Express management has asked the offices of 8 bureaus to be closed by May 31. The instruction from the management was that the Alapuzha, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Kottayam, Palakkad, Kannur, Malappuram bureau offices be closed immediately and the furniture and office paraphernalia be sold as akri (scrap).
TNIE journalists and other non-journalist staff had already taken a pay cut from 10 to 30 per cent according to their grades. Each of these bureaus work out of rented offices with a team of two or three staffers comprising the editorial and the circulation departments. As the offices are manned by the circulation department, the editorial staffers in these bureaus are unaware of these developments with ‘Work From Home’ policy in place. No letter has been sent to them that these offices will be closed from June 1. It is unclear if these are measures to cost-cut without layoffs or if this action precedes layoffs. Sources say that the management expects savings of Rs one lakh per bureau by shutting its offices.
Since India went into lock down to contain the corona virus outbreak, Big Media has cut or deferred wages of their staff, and even laid some off.
The media giant, which runs 45 dailies and periodicals, including the Times of India and the Economic Times, a series of websites, and a bouquet of TV and radio channels, has cut staff salaries and deferred increments. It has laid off staff in its financial daily, the Economic Times.
At least 18 serving and sacked employees of the Times Group did not had any clue about layoff.But the scale of the sackings can be gauged from the number of the bureaus that have been affected across the country.
Kolkata-based English daily the Telegraph has shut its operations in Jharkhand and the Northeast and consequently laid off more than 35 staffers.
The decision has affected the paper’s Guwahati bureau in Assam, and the Jamshedpur and Ranchi bureaus in Jharkhand. Dozens of freelancers and contributors associated with the Telegraph in the two regions have also been affected.
The news was broken to employees over the phone on May 20 by the newspaper’s editor, R Rajagopal. They were told that May 31 will be the last issue of the daily in their respective regions.
After announcing pay cuts across the board a couple of weeks back, Hindustan Times also said to have given pink slips to 130 employees. These staffers were not just from the editorial teams across editions but also from the marketing and ad sales departments.
According to source, HT is to terminate 27 per cent of the total staff on advice of management consulting firm McKinsey.
The 27 per cent employees include staffers from Hindustan Times and the publication’s business newspaper Mint. staffers have been laid off from editorial as well as marketing and ad sales departments.
The condescended events speaks all about the downfall in the businesses in our country.
Article By – Shallvi Raj (Guru gram)