Vikash Sharma

Despite being the fourth pillar of democracy, the journalists in Odisha remain a neglected lot and their genuine demands have allegedly remained unheard by the state government so far.

At a time when the Odisha government went on a spree and announced hikes and other incentives for scores of teachers, government employees and other sections of the society ahead of the 2024 elections, no announcement was made for the journalists, who seem to be struggling for survival in the state.

Also Read: Odisha journalists launch padyatra to press for demands

Journalists across Odisha have time and again been demanding some benefits including pension, which comes under the purview of social security. So far their demands have fallen on deaf ears.

From making demands at regular intervals to wearing black badges and even taking out padayatras, the state government failed miserably to address the concerns of the working journalists who act as a bridge between the people and the government.

Odisha Journalists’ Intensify Movement

Recently, journalists in different parts of Odisha staged sit-ins over their demands. Wearing black badges, the journalists from Gop block also took out a 60-km padayatra to Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar to press for their demands. The Gop journalists were the first to start such a protest.

Also Read: Pension for journalists demand raised at OUJ’s event in Bhubaneswar; 2 OTV journalists felicitated 

What Opposition Parties Say

During the last Assembly session held in February, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra had urged the Odisha government to restore the rights of the journalists to enter the Lok Seva Bhawan which was earlier stopped or restricted by the state government citing Covid pandemic situation.

Mishra also batted for pension for the journalists in Odisha citing similar provisions in other states of the country.

Also Read: Journalists should get pension, free entry into Lok Seva Bhawan, says Congress leader in Odisha Assembly

What Are The Demands Of The Journalists in Odisha?

The media fraternity in Odisha has been demanding a journalist protection law, the establishment of a press academy, pension, inclusion of parents in the health insurance scheme, and a hike in the insured amount.