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Media Owners vs Journalists: Nawa-e-Waqt Employees Not Paid For Six Months

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Employees of Pakistan’s major Urdu newspaper Nawa-i-Waqt, in a letter addressed to the Chief Editor, have urged the management to pay their salaries which haven’t been disbursed for the last six months.

This letter is another proof of the working environment and challenges faced by journalists in Pakistan, as not paying their dues have become a routine in the country.

The letter read that those working at Islamabad bureau are facing great hardship and performing their duties without any salary. In fact, they are no more able to meet the family needs like the school fees of their children and provision of food.

It is not just the daily Nawa-i-Waqt as the situation is the same media house’s English newspaper The Nation where the staff members have not been without pay for months.

The Nawa-i-Waqt Group had started delaying release of salary for well over one year ago, but the situation is reached a stage that the workers are not paid for six months consecutively.

But it’s not just Nawai Waqt. Other media outlets have also withheld salaries leading to a crisis situation. Atif Rajput of VOA tweeted that A-TV had also not been paying their workers.

Meanwhile, nothing has changed with respect to other newspapers that include the Daily Times. Many journalists on social media have posted that the organisation is withholding the salaries of staff members for at least four months as a practice.

Time and again, employees of Geo News, owned by Jang Group – the biggest media house of Pakistan have also complained of delays and non-payments.

The non-payment of salaries is compounded by arbitrary layoffs as thousands of media workers have lost their jobs in the past few years. Senior journalist Muhammad Ziauddin had written a detailed analysis for Nayadaur Media. He highlighted the flaws in media industry’s business model that has resulted in the current crisis.

The media industry is under the knife. But it is the workers not the owners who are paying the price in terms of their jobs and professionalism. According to a rough estimate as many as 3000 plus journalists are said to have been thrown out of jobs since August last year.

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Naya Daur