The Tamilnadu government on Tuesday announced a welfare board for journalists, an increase in financial support to families of press, media persons who die in harness, and funding higher education of young, eligible scribes in journalism schools.
Making announcements on new initiatives for his department, Information Minister M P Saminathan announced the institution of the ”Kalaignar Ezhuthukol Award” for journalists making exemplary journalistic contributions towards social development and the uplift of marginalized people.
The award includes a cash component of Rs 5 lakh and a certificate of appreciation, he said.
Kalaignar is a reference to former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and anything, including a pen, used to write is ”Ezhuthukol.” Announcing setting up a welfare board, the Minister said it would integrate schemes for working journalists and also provide welfare assistance and render support. The financial support for families of journalists who die in harness would be increased to Rs 5 lakh from the present Rs 3 lakh, he said.
Based on the length of service, currently up to Rs three lakh is provided as support to such families from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund, he added.
Financial support would be provided to young, aspiring, and eligible journalists to pursue higher education and get trained in reputed journalism schools like the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and Asian College of Journalism, he said adding journalists would also be trained to develop their professional, language and technology-related skills.