In another case of the newspaper industry being hit hard by the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, 20 people were laid off from the Hindu’s Mumbai bureau on Thursday. The employees, some of them senior reporters, have been asked to send in their resignations within the next few days. Additionally, around nine people have also been laid off from the paper’s Karnataka bureau.
Sources told Newslaundry that the decision, as well as the list of people being terminated, came directly from the head office in Chennai. The list includes reporters who cover important beats in the city, photographers, designers, and an editor on the desk.
The employees were individually informed of their terminations over the telephone; there was no official communication otherwise.
Around four reporters and four people on the desk were retained, apart from the resident editor. There are now fears that the paper might not continue with its Mumbai edition, which was launched with great fanfare in 2015.
The Hindu stopped printing in Mumbai during the lockdown, resuming only on June 15, three days before its employees were asked to send in their resignation letters. However, the Mumbai bureau’s journalists still extensively covered the Covid-19 outbreak in the city, the worst-hit in India, for the e-paper and website.
“I have until Wednesday to submit the resignation,” said an employee, who was given the news via a phone call.
Newspapers have been collateral damage to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The recently laid off employees, while the shut editions and laid off employees. The sent its staffers on indefinite leave without pay, and closed down its print edition, laying off over 50 employees. The Telegraph closed two bureaus and last month, and HT Media over 100 employees.
However, the print media has been even before the pandemic, with drops in readership and financial pressure. Like many other news organisations, the employees at the Hindu have also undergone since April.
Newslaundry reached out to LV Navaneeth, the chief executive officer of the Hindu, but he remained unavailable for comment.
The media industry is in crisis. Journalists, more than ever, need your support. You can support independent media by paying to keep news free. Because when the public pays, the public is served and when the advertiser pays, the advertiser is served. Subscribe to Newslaundry today.