Flagging the issue of job uncertainties in the media sector, Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice C K Prasad on Wednesday pitched for providing "social security" to journalists, saying they cannot work properly without it.
He was addressing a gathering at a function held at the IIMC campus here to kick-off of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
"A word that is quite used in the field of journalism, it is called pink slip. Any person, be it editor or reporter, who goes to office, would not know, if he or she is going to continue tomorrow at work," Prasad said.
The rights of journalists are also important, he said.
"They must be provided social security. Because, there are claims and counterclaim, and unless a journalist is not going to be protected (with such rights), he or she cannot work properly and honestly," Prasad said.
In his address, the PCI chief also urged the journalists to adequately arm themselves with intricate knowledge of human rights to serve the society better.
"Media has played critical role in educating people about the violation of human rights... In today's scenario where the power of media has grown, they must work cautiously, sensitively and with sheer objectivity," he said.
NHRC Chairperson Justice H L Dattu said on several occasions the rights panel has taken suo motu cognisance of human rights violations based on media reports.
"Media has played an important role in educating the masses about human rights and their violations, particularly in geographically distant places," he said.
Prasad, urging the media to highlight the plight of the poor and the marginalised, said "rights of every man are diminished if rights of one man are threatened".
Director General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IMC), K G Suresh, proposed to build associations between the two institutions to further promote awareness about human rights.
A documentary charting the journey of 25 years of the NHRC was also screened on the occasion.