New Delhi – The Journalist and Media Association (JMA) today called for equal rights for journalists who work in online media. In a letter to the Prime Minister of India, JMA National President Vysakh Suresh urged the government to recognize online journalists as working journalists and grant them the same benefits and protections as their counterparts in print and broadcast media.
“Online journalists play a vital role in informing the public and holding those in power accountable,” Vysakh said. “The glaring issue of state governments’ disregard for journalists working in online media is a serious matter that needs immediate attention. They are blatantly ignoring and excluding them from the Journalist Pension Scheme, which is a welfare measure for journalists. This blatant discrimination is a serious matter that needs immediate attention.”
Vysakh noted that online journalists are often denied access to press conferences and other events, and they are not eligible for the same government benefits as their counterparts in traditional media. He also said that online journalists are more vulnerable to harassment and intimidation, and they are not protected by the same laws as traditional journalists.
“The government must recognize the important role that online journalists play in our democracy,” Vysakh said. “We urge them to take steps to ensure that online journalists are treated fairly and that they have the same rights and protections as their counterparts in traditional media.”
The JMA’s call for equal rights for online journalists comes at a time when online media is playing an increasingly important role in the Indian media landscape. According to a recent report by the Media Research Users Council of India, more than half of Indians now get their news from online sources.
The JMA is a national organization that represents the interests of journalists working in all forms of media. The association has been advocating for the rights of online journalists for several years.