Sunday, December 10, 2023

Thejas Daily: Malayalam newspaper ends publishing due to lack of funds

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The Thejas newspaper with the tagline “Conscience of Malayalee” has decided to stop print publishing. The decision is taken after 12 long years of journalism and continuous struggle. The newspaper was started in the Republic day of  2006 as the successor to the ‘Thejas’, a weekly which began as the face of the NDF ( now, Popular Front of India) in 1997. The newspaper has editions  in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kannur with center located in Kozhikode

The official announcement was on 22 October.  The management conducted a press conference in which they confirmed that the publication would end on December 31. A proposal on the recommendation of the cut down in expenditure was put forward by the employees to no avail.  The Management Stated the reason to be the lack of government advertisements and negligence from both central and state governments which have led to serious difficulties.

The Thejas daily newspaper was distinct from its contemporaries. The management says that financial difficulties are the main reason behind the decision.  The Gulf editions had stopped some time ago.

The police were always upset with us we are the voice of the minority. They have sent wrong reports against us to the top executives. Many of these bureaucrats hunted Thejas with political angle. These officials were trying to implement the Sangh Parivar agenda and they played a pivotal role in financially devastating the newspaper.

Editor of Thejas Mr. Chekutty told the Maktoob.

“The main income of a newspaper is advertisements. One daily newspaper relied heavily on revenue from central and state ads. But the government with  V. S. Achuthanandan as chief minister had canceled the advertisement from the state government, which triggered the financial crisis.” He added.

The main problem was the politics that was put forth by the newspaper. Chekutty said that there were attempts to cancel the newspaper’s license four years ago.

The notice was issued by the Thiruvananthapuram collectorate based on some reports in the magazine. All the news that was put forward by the news was reported in the national media. One thing was not his own, “Chekutty said. Such actions were meant to destroy the newspaper. Senior journalists have pointed out that the downfall of the Thejas is not merely a coincidence, but that it was planned.

The management has alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan government has canceled the pension and accreditation given to employees and that the government has not backed the management even after convincing them of the seriousness of the issue.

Even though the employees were prepared to cut salaries, the management has decided to close it. Popular Front leader Nasaruddeen Elamaram said that they have decided to make the Thejas biweekly a weekly and to make it more active online.

Meanwhile, KUWJ President Prasad Kamal Varadoor said, “The management has not showed democratic manners towards its employers.” The management’has not carried out discussions with the KWW representatives”.

The KUWJ is discussing with the experts about the decision of the management and will also discuss with the government to make sure that the employees get all the benefits, Kamal  Varadoor told Maktoob.

The management has adopted an anti-labor policy. Kamal said that the management refused to accept recommendations put forward by KUWJ.

With the end of the newspaper, more than 200 workers will lose their jobs. The management said it will retain some of them in the weekly and online editions.

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Aslah Kayyalakkath
Aslah Kayyalakkath
Aslah Kayyalakkath is a Founding Editor of Maktoob. He tweets @aslahtweets


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