En bloc firing shocks Desk staff of a local daily

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Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Around 40 sub-editors, city and news editors as well as page-makers of an English newspaper of all its four stations—Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar—were fired on Monday leaving the staff and their families in a state of shock.
In Islamabad alone, around ten employees have been fired including a senior news editor and a feature writer. “A senior member of the management entered the newsroom around 1 p.m. in the day and told us that our services are required no more and we could go home,” said a member of the city desk of that newspaper while talking to Pakistan Observer. “We are in panic as we were not conveyed anything about this previously, rather we were given the impression that everything was going well and the newspaper was being popular with the masses,” he further said.
The news of ‘mass firing’ spread like fire and one could read posts of condemnation on social media all the day. A senior news editor who is respected in the journalistic circles for his distinguished career and is also among the affectees when asked how it all happened, said it was part of global phenomenon.
Earlier, editor of the daily had reportedly quit his job after developing differences with the management over firing of the Desk staff and recently Fahad Hussain, another senior anchorperson and journalist, had joined in his place. Meanwhile, the journalists’ representative bodies have condemned the decision of firing such a large number of the editorial staff and vowed to resist the decision at all forums. A protest call has also been given by the PFUJ and National Press Club today (Tuesday) outside the National Press Club. When management of the said daily was contacted a member confirmed the news saying now the newspaper plans to focus on its online edition. Three-month salaries will be paid to all those who have been affected by this administrative decision, he said.