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Goa journalists to cover assembly with black armbands

Posted on Feb 28 2014 | IANS

Panaji, Feb 28 : Journalists covering the Goa assembly's budget session will wear black arm bandsand scarves to protest comments made by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar against the media.

In a statement issued Friday, the Goa Union of Journalists (GUJ) said the decision to protest was taken after Parrikar failed to apologise for his comments made Sunday.

The chief minister had said journalists indulged in paid news and were too poorly educated and paid to do a fair job at news reporting.

"To express shock and displeasure towards this disparaging attitude, the executive committee has decided to ask all journalists to wear black ribbons/scarves while covering the forthcoming budget session of the Goa legislative assembly beginning from March 3 for the entire duration," said the statement issued by GUJ president Kishor Naik Gaonkar.

It said the GUJ "seeks that Parrikar either come clean, name and shame, as well as prosecute those journalists or newspaper organisations" which he alleged were indulging in paid news, "or hold his silence" until he can prove his allegations and "refrain from painting all journalists with the same brush".

Parrikar had Sunday said at the public function: "What is a reporter's salary? How much does a news reader earn? Maybe Rs.25,000. They are mostly graduates. They are not great thinkers... intellectuals. They write news how they understand it."

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