Journalists to celebrate National Press Day wearing black badges

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Port Blair, Nov 14 (UNI) Journalists and newspaper employees of far-flung Andaman and Nicobar islands have decided to celebrate this year's National Press Day wearing Black Badges in protest against the Andaman administration's alleged unfriendly attitude towards the media.

All newspaper employees and journalists of the remote islands have also decided to boycott the official National Press Day function of Andaman and Nicobar administration.

''We would celebrate National Press Day by our own without taking any assistance from the administration. We would be wearing black badges as a mark of protest against the administration's biased policy to curb the private newspapers in the islands,'' K Ganeshan, president of Port Blair Press Club, told UNI today.

It has been almost a month since the private newspapers of Andaman and Nicobar islands have launched their peaceful protest against the policy of the administration.

''The private local dailies have been leaving their Editorial Column blank since then but nothing seemed to be moving on the administration's side. Hundreds of employees working in private newspapers especially dailies are expected to go jobless if the administration sticks to its present policy,'' Mr Ganeshan added.

He added that in order to sustain a small private newspaper in Andaman the publisher requires a minimum amount of grant from the administration in the form of advertisements that includes government tenders and other publicity oriented materials.

''There is no point going for the administration's official function of National Press Day, when we are not able to pay even monthly salaries to our employees due to heavy financial losses,'' Mr Ganeshan said.

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