Journalists Union Cries Foul as Times Group Decides to Shut Down Mirror Editions

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All journalists of the affected publications be absorbed within the Times Group with full continuity of service and other benefits, demands BUJ

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NEW DELHI —The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) has expressed shock at the Times Group’s decision to re-launch its daily tabloid Mumbai Mirror as a weekly and to close down its Pune edition.

In a statement on Saturday, the (BUJ) demanded that all journalists of the affected publications be absorbed within the Times Group with full continuity of service and other benefits.

“Mumbai Mirror has made a mark in its consistent reportage on issues concerning the city, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic … We demand that not a single working-journalist employee of Mumbai Mirror is retrenched because of this re-organisation,” said the statement.

They (BUJ) argued that at the time of pandemic, the Times Group should use its resources to protect news media publications as part of their responsibility towards informing the public. This includes journalists from other Mirror editions in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

Earlier in the day, the Bennet Coleman and Company, the publishers of the times group of publications, made the announcement through a statement which read:
“Fifteen years ago, the ‘city that never sleeps’ had a new and good reason for staying awake – and for waking up, when it did manage to get some sleep: Mumbai Mirror. Feisty and fearless, energetic and enthusiastic, playful yet punchy, it lived up to its name from the day it was born, mirroring Mumbai in all its myriad moods. It was as local as Mumbai’s locals – the lifeblood that keeps the city on track and moving. The paper became such an integral part of the reader’s life, driving the narrative of the city, that it was decided to extend the experience to Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad.
“Sadly, just as the pandemic, lockdown and unprecedented economic crisis have laid low many great ideas and initiatives before they could fully take root, they came as a body blow for the still-young brand. Not only has the newspaper industry been among the hardest-hit in terms of revenues, it has been weighed down by an import duty that has added to newsprint costs. With the long-held hope of a stimulus not materialising and the Indian economy now officially in recession, it is with a heavy heart that the group has decided to cease publication of Mirror in Pune and relaunch Mumbai Mirror as a weekly. They will, however, continue to have a strong digital presence.
“Following months of discussions and deliberations, we have made this extremely difficult and painful decision to recalibrate our portfolio of publications. We truly value the contribution of our journalists and other staff towards building such a strong brand in a relatively short time, and thank them for their hard work and great effort.”

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