Amidst the lockdown imposed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc in the world, claiming 115,136 lives and infecting 1,865,015 people globally, the media industry in India is going through a tumultuous time.
Media organisations Times of India, News Nation and The Quint have laid off employees despite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking public and private employers not to lay off their workers or cut their salaries.
In her post on Facebook, journalist Nona Walia said that she was sacked along with the entire team of Sunday magazine. She wrote, "The entire team of Sunday magazine of Times of India asked to leave. Got a call from my boss Poonam Singh. Sacked after 24 years from a company I served with love for more than two decades. Wow."
According to report, News Nation Network has laid off its entire English digital team of 15. They were not given termination notice or allowed to serve their notice period, said the sacked staffers.
“The company is going through a financial crisis due to the pandemic so we have to do this,” said editor-in-chief, Manoj Gairola to a sacked employee, reported Newslaundary.
Shashikant Sharma, former News Nation employee, took to Linkedin and said, "Guys, in a very unfortunate decision, News Nation has sacked entire English digital team yesterday. Many of my colleagues were left with no job in the middle of this crisis. The team includes hardworking journalistd and social media executives. They are looking for jobs. Fortunately I quit the place a month before. But they need out help now. If anyone can help them in their hour of need, will be appreciated. PS: News Nation sucks. Let's boycott them. Raghwendra Shukla."
According to indianjournalismreview.com, The Quint is reported to have asked nearly half its staff to go on a leave without pay.
"In these circumstances, it is clear that our revenues will be under severe strain over the next 3-4 months, at least. During this time, The Quint’s primary objectives should be: a) For everybody to stay healthy. b) For our young operation to survive this period and live to fight another day. That can happen if we take emergency actions, measures only used in the ‘rarest of rare’ situations, measures that may constrain us all, but may also help us stay afloat at a time like this," Quint's Editor-in-Chief Raghav Bahl said.
Meanwhile, sources have also said that ET Panache and Bombay Times are all set to merge and that ET Panache has asked its 50% staff to go on leave.