Maharashtra government is working on a pension scheme for working journalists and it would be finalised soon, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in Amravati on Sunday.
Addressing a gathering at the Sant Dnyaneshwar Sanskritik Bhavan after inaugurating the Patrakar Bhavan near Rajapeth police station, Fadnavis also assured that journalists would be helped in matters of housing, even as he announced a grant of Rs. 10 lakh to the Amravati Union of Working Journalists (AUWJ).
He said that the Maharashtra government was seriously contemplating the introduction of a bill to protect working journalists, and considering suggestions from various quarters.
The Chief Minister said that the bill would have provisions that would ensure that those who blackmail people under the garb of journalism were not protected.
Fadnavis said that the credibility of all four pillars of democracy are in doubt and urged journalists to give more importance to what he called “valuable news” rather than “news
“I am of the opinion that the press, which is the fourth pillar of democracy should be independent. It must get social security and its rights must be protected. Journalists are
social reformers. The media mirrors the pangs of society. It should be careful about how this is presented in print or screen,” he said.
He said that there are journalists who focus on human interest stories, while there are others who misuse their rights.
He said that criticism is essential to “move” the administrative apparatus, adding that such criticism ought to be objective, since it tends to strengthen democracy.