THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday urged media houses not to resort to layoffs and pay cuts while the whole community is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chief Minister said the state government will also take necessary steps to test the media personnel in the state to ensure they have not contracted the deadly virus.
He also pointed out that the pandemic has severely impacted the media sector with many newspaperseven reducing the number of pages.
"Journalists are among those who have been affected the most. Journalists on the field are also in danger. We have come to know about the reporters affected with coronavirus in other states. The government will take necessary precautions including testing to ensure that journalists don't contract the disease," Vijayan said.
He said thenewspapers were not receiving advertisements these days because there are no social or public events resulting in less commercial activities in the society.
"I would like to urge the media houses not to engage in layoffs or salary cuts during this pandemic. Journalists are working shoulder to shoulder with health workers.
During this pandemic, scribes are out in the field collecting news, despite the threat of disease and it was admirable," Vijayan said.
The chief minister said the government has asked the PRD to release the dues to various media houses.