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National Webinar on
Deconstructing New Labour Codes: Implications on the News Media Workforce

ISID & DME Noida
Wednesday, 27th January 2021

January 27, 2021 @ 10:00 - 14:00 UTC+5.5

Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID)
Delhi Metropolitan Education (DME)


Objective: The proposed webinar aims at bringing at one platform various stakeholders and experts to deliberate on the issues related to deconstruction of new labour codes with the merger of Working Journalists Acts into labour laws and its far-reaching implications on the profession of journalism and the media industry.


India can boast of a very robust news media industry, with over one hundred thousand print publications out which 17000 are mainstream daily newspapers, over 400 television news channels and various online news platforms. While there is no official data on the number of working journalists, but keeping in view the bandwidth of news media in India, and various kinds of positions within the media industry including journalists employed on contract and an army of ‘stringers’, the workforce runs in to a few million.


The wages & working conditions of people employed in the news media has been a vexed issue for long. The news media proprietors in general have never welcomed the setting up of wage boards by the government to fix wages since the 1950s. In all, there have been six wage boards, the last Wage Board also known as the Majithia Commission made suggestions on the need for extending social security measures to media persons. Its recommendations were in general rejected by most of the newspaper organization, despite the intervention of the Supreme Court. While the case was yet to be resolved, when the Government of India decided to merge two Acts relating to the Working Journalists {The Working Journalists and other Employees (conditions of service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 and The Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958} along with over three dozen labour laws into the four overarching Labour Codes. The long struggle of the working journalists for a decent wage structure suddenly came a cropper. Many journalists’ associations have criticized the move. The argument has been that media is a highly skilled profession and unique at that, which has been diluted by its merger with a labour force of over 40 crore skilled and unskilled labour force.  Whatever the arguments and  the resistance to that,  Parliament that met during the Covid times in its Monsoon session passed the three  codes with a voice vote ( One Code was passed in 2019), while the opposition had boycotted the session on the passing of the Farm laws. The government has already put in the public domain rules and guidelines on all the four Codes viz.  Industrial Relations, Wages, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and Social Security.


The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour had looped in all the major trade unions  and industry associations’ representation during its over two years’ work in preparation of  the bill. It received many suggestions, some of which, it claims were incorporated in the final Bill.


The Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID) , a public funded policy research institute and DME Media School,  aim at bringing to one platform various stakeholders and experts to deliberate on the issue for its far-reaching implications on the profession of journalism and the media industry via this webinar.



  • Prof. (Dr) Jaishri Jethwaney, Senior ICSSR Research Fellow, ISID, New Delhi
  • Prof. (Dr) Ambrish Saxena, Dean, DME Media School, DME, Noida


  • Prof. (Dr) Susmita Bala, Head, DME Media School, DME, Noida and Prof. Seema Goyal, ISID, New Delhi
  • Ms Krishna Pandey and Mr Ritwik Ghosh, Assistant Professors, DME Media School, DME, Noida


  • Mr B Dhanunjai Kumar, ISID and Ms Mudita Raj, Academic Associate, DME Media School, DME, Noida

Participation of Stakeholders: Policy makers, Media practitioners, Academics Activists/ Industry associations.


click here to download the Webinar Brochure and Programme Schedule


Youtube link of the proceedings of Session 1


Youtube link of the proceedings of Session 2


January 27, 2021
10:00 - 14:00 UTC+5.5


Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID)
Delhi Metropolitan Education, Noida