Health insurance of working journalists laudable, but …

Minute Mirror - Subscribe
Minute Mirror - Subscribe

In a commendable move, the federal government has announced an allocation of Rs1 billion for the health insurance of working journalists in the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. This decision comes as a result of the special instructions from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, demonstrating his commitment to the welfare of journalists. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb deserves special thanks for the initiative for she initiated and pursued the issue till its conclusion.

The inclusion of health insurance for working journalists is a significant step towards providing them with the necessary support and protection. It recognizes the vital role journalists play in society and acknowledges the risks and challenges they face while reporting on crucial events and issues.
While the government’s initiative to ensure the health and well-being of journalists is commendable, some stakeholders in the print industry, including me, are concerned about the lack of specific measures to address the challenges faced by the sector. Recent months have witnessed a staggering increase in the prices of papers, as well as print plates and related products. This surge in costs has significantly impacted the viability and sustainability of the printing industry.
Considering these developments, it becomes imperative for the federal government to announce a comprehensive package aimed at reviving the printing industry. The package should address the rapid increase in paper prices and printing plates, which are crucial components of the print media sector. By formulating a strategy that tackles these challenges, the government can ensure the smooth functioning of the print media industry.

The government’s attention to the health insurance needs of working journalists is a positive step that acknowledges their invaluable contributions. Now, it is essential for the authorities to also recognize the specific challenges faced by the print industry and take appropriate measures to support its revival. By doing so, the government can facilitate the sustainability of the print media sector and ensure the continued dissemination of accurate and timely information to the public.