No salary for months, news channel employees start living in studio

2 Feb. Hei, what’s happening to TV journalism! Many of our youngsters live under the illusion of tV glamour. Some of them are dreaming of national English channels. But according to me TV journalism or a career in TV is a high-risk job! While our youngsters want to join TV channels, the TV employers (“industry”) is busy laying off their staff! Some others fail to pay their staff, while trying to “expose” others who fail to “do justice” or “break all rules” in other spheres of life!
Here is a news report of a TV channel in Kerala which has failed to pay its staff, and the staff are on a novel strike! Now, read….

Employees have set up a kitchen and ironing station in the studio.
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Haritha John| The News Minute| February 1, 2015| 12.00 pm IST

As Kerala saw a boom in 24*7 news channels, many jumped into the fray, wanting to be a part of the market. But lately, many of these channels have simply become bad ventures, with the promoters struggling to pay salaries and keep the show going.

One such channel which began telecast, but shut down soon after was TV New, a venture of the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry that started in January 2014.

Not having received salaries for almost four months now, employees of the channel have started a new strike called, “Strike for life.”

Though the strike has been going on for 45 days, a group of employees from all departments have now moved the strike venue to the TV New Studio in Palarivattom Kochi. This group of employees now live in the studio. They have started a kitchen, prepare food in the studio, and even have an ‘Ironing’ shop as part of the ‘Jeevithasamaram’ (Strike for life)

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“In the beginning they told us that they have funds for three years, but we have been left in the lurch. We don’t even have money to buy rice. Most of us had left good organizations believing their fake promises” says a senior cameraman.

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“So we have decided to live here until there is a positive response from the management,” he says.

“We have not got salary for last 4 months. Unable to pay our rent, many of us have been thrown out by our house owners. That is how we decided to live in the studio,” says a senior reporter from the channel.

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TV New has 250 employees in different bureaus. Though the channel had enough manpower and technical facilities to sustain, crisis started within three months from the commencement of broadcast. The veil of secrecy around the crisis has angered the employees even more.

“All channel vehicles including cars and OB vans stopped running, the drivers were not paid, electricity was cut in the bureaus, owners of the buildings regularly shout at us for not paying rents” says a reporter from Thiruvananthapuram bureau.

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A selfie by the protesting employees

A reporter from Palakkad said that their cab driver told her that he will commit suicide and she would be responsible for it.

“Drivers used to abuse us; we were thrown out from hostels. As we struggled to get food, so we decided to prepare food in studio and protest” says a junior reporter

Employees allege that the management neglected the entire crisis and had not taken any steps to solve the issue.

When The News Minute approached the Chamber of Commerce, we were told that a committee was looking into the issues, not further information was given,

TV New started its broadcasting on June 14 2014. Bhagath Chadrashekkhar, a well known journalist was the executive editor in the beginning and later resigned in November 2014.

K.N Marzook, a business man is the chairman of the channel.


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