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Why we will never know how many journalists at HT and Mint lost their jobs

by Cyril Sam and Shashidhar KJ  Last month, HT Media, the publisher of Hindustan Times the pulled shutters on four editions and three bureaus, including its business bureau in Mumbai and Delhi, laying off an unknown number of journalists. There is silence in the media on the number of jobs lost at HT and its business paper, Mint. Typically, media in India does not report on itself, especially, on the working conditions of journalists. On 5 February 2017, we put up an anonymous online survey asking journalists, who lost their jobs recently, their experiences, number of journalists they personally knew of who were fired and their contact details. We wanted to know what was happening. We used Twitter, Whatsapp and Facebook to reach journalists. A week later, we have 18 responses. We got in touch with five journalists who previously worked with HT and Mint. None wanted to be named. Scared, that going on record will hurt their chances of finding a new job. Some of them left behind their contact details in the survey form. Some others got in touch with us on Facebook. Most of them were 22- 30-year-old. Forced Resignations As part of HT Media’s cost optimization project, on 18th January, a senior editor from HT arrived from Delhi at the paper’s Mumbai bureau with a list of employees. “We’ve identified you as the weakest link,” the editor told one of the journalists we spoke to during a sit-down. The journalist was asked to resign the same…

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