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Journalists battered and rattled as jobs slip out of their hands

The COVID-19 lockdown has battered and bruised journalists as never before. Across the country, editions of various newspapers have closed down. Unemployment looms large. Those who have lost jobs may number in the thousands. Those holding on are facing hefty wage cuts. Usha Rai, senior journalist based in Delhi, has told me that many journalists in India have been asked to go on furlough, or leave without pay in many media establishments. 
Giving examples, she mentioned how in the Northeast, a pregnant woman journalist was shown the door because her publication has no rules for maternity leave. All this is happening when, in the best traditions of the profession, journalists at great risk to their lives are going all out to report the pandemic from the frontlines – from the streets of the worst hit slums of Dharavi and in COVID-19 hospitals to travelling in trains with migrants and reporting from quarantine centres in villages of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In fact, many journalists are …

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