How Dainik Jagran’s Employees Have Taken on Their Management Over the Non-Implementation of the Majithia Board Recommendations

13 March 2015

It is not often that a journalist has the opportunity to interview a disaffected employee—in this instance, another journalist—who is willing to go on record with complaints against his employers, and does so while he is still on the premises of his workplace. Rarer still is finding more than one member of the workforce willing to make such disclosures. A pragmatic approach would perhaps have prompted more prudence. After all, these are not easy times for journalists.

But, armed with the hope that the Supreme Court will stand by the employees of Dainik Jagran—one of the most widely read Hindi dailies in India—Ratan Bhushan, the fifty-two-year-old deputy news editor of the newspaper has become fearless. Bhushan started his journalistic career at a local Hindi newspaper way back in 1989 on a paltry three-figure salary. Twenty-six years later, he is drawing a little more than Rs 30,000. His annual increment has been a meagre Rs 200 for the last several years.  “Management loyalists, sneaks and those doing dirty work for the owners and editors get ten times that amount annually,” he alleged.

Anand Prakash, the publication's thirty-five year old circulation manager, who joined Jagran’s Noida office ten years ago on a princely salary of Rs 6,500 per month, has not been so lucky. When Prakash joined Jagran in 2005, the total circulation figure of the publication in the Delhi-NCR region was around 22,000. Prakash told me that this figure stands at 4.5 lakhs today. In stark contrast, his salary has increased to only around Rs 12,000—at least Rs 3000 less than the salary of a Class 4 employee at a central university—in the course of the last decade. Voicing his distress at the disparity, he asked, “Don’t I have any contribution towards this growth? Have I also not put my blood and sweat towards this?”

Sandeep Bhushan was a television journalist for twenty years. He is currently an independent media researcher.