Defence Minister A K Antony said, on Sunday, that he would expedite the submission of the report of the Wage Boards for employees in newspapers and news agencies.
"I share your concern. I have been with you whenever you took up your geneuine demands. This time too, I will do whatever I could to help you", he said while inaugurating the 48th state conference of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).
He said he was aware of the problems like insufficient wages and insecure job conditions faced by journalists working in many of the news organisations. "However,despite the limitations you should uphold the basic tenets of the profession like impartiality, fairness and objectivity", he said.
"In the prevailing context, people have the greatest faith in judiciary and media, since they play a vital role in keeping the democracy strong.You should always bear this in mind when carrying out your duties", he said.
He said it was most important to cross-check facts before putting the stories.
Recalling one of his own experiences, he said when he was chief minister sections of the media put out a highly inflated account of police in an anti-encroachement operation at Muthanga in Wayanad district. Some of the media reported that as many as 16 tribals were killed and their bodies were burnt on the spot. Actually, only one tribal and one police constable had died in the incident.
He said with the advent of the 'breaking news culture,' the work burden of mediapersons had increased several fold. "The other day I asked some very young reporters about their schedule. They said their day starts quite early and it drags on till very late in the night". Considering this, it was important to take up the problems of journalists in the visual media as in the case of their counterparts in the print media, he said.
Kerala Public Works Minister M Vijayakumar, city Mayor K Chandrika, KUWJ state president K C Rajagopal and general secretary Manoharan Morayi spoke on the inaugural session of the one-day meet.