Journalists who lost jobs or aren’t paid regularly will get the assistance
The government will provide financial assistance of Tk10,000 each to 2,000 more journalists badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Dr Md Hasan Mahmud has said.
The decision was taken at an emergency meeting held between the minister and leaders of Journalists’ Welfare Trust at Secretariat on Sunday, reports Bangla Tribune.
In the first wave of coronavirus last year, some 3,350 journalists from all over the country were given Tk10,000 each.
“At the instruction of the prime minister, I sat with the welfare trust to help those who lost their jobs or were not getting their salaries due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the ministers told reporters after the meeting.
The trust was formed by passing a law in parliament in 2014. It provides assistance to sick and indigent journalists every year, and if a journalist dies, the family gets Tk3 lakh from the trust.
The minister said that 200 more journalists would get financial aid of Tk50,000 to Tk200,000 in this financial year. “Some 40 journalists have been given this assistance so far,” he said.
He also expressed frustration over job cuts and lay-offs in the media due to coronavirus outbreak.
“It is unacceptable to me. I requested the [media outlet] owners to look into the matter from a humane point of view since the beginning. But they did not follow that in many cases.”
The minister said that journalist leaders had also been working to address the issue. “But it should be kept in mind that these are not government institutions, they are private institutions,” he added.