Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday announced to increase the amount of aid given to the families of journalists, who died due to COVID-19, from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. The CM has also hiked the compensation given to journalists who have been reporting on the pandemic from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000.
In his statement, Stalin said, “Journalists are playing an important role in bringing important news and information to the people and creating awareness during the pandemic despite hurdles.”
“They are acting as a bridge between the government and the people. So, to encourage them, all registered journalists and photographers/videographers working with print, television and magazine across districts (With at least one of the following registrations with the government like government registration card/Free bus pass/ID card from District Collector) will receive an increased incentive amount,” he said.
Earlier, several journalist organizations placed demands to the Tamil Nadu government to increase the incentive and compensation given for them since they have been working despite the pandemic. Following this, the Chief Minister said, “The previous government gave an incentive of Rs 3,000. However, after consulting journalists, the Tamil Nadu government is increasing the incentive sum from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000.”
“The previous government also issued a government order to provide Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the kin of the journalist if they die due to COVID-19. Following the demands from journalists, the compensation will be increased to Rs 10 lakh,” he said
The CM also requested journalists from print and television media to perform their work by maintaining safety during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Guru Rajendran, a programme producer who worked for a private channel died due to COVID-19 on Tuesday. Guru Rajendran is also the brother of director Raju Murugan. Rajendran has performed as a small character artist in movies including ‘Joker’. His death came a day after Pradeep Kumar, a journalist working with a leading newspaper died due to COVID-19 in Chennai.