It has since expressed satisfaction with the Press Commission’s terms of reference. These cover the ground indicated in the Federation’s Calcutta resolution, except in one or two particulars.
2. Public opinion has for some time been concerned with certain developments in the Indian newspaper world, which have weakened the reader’s faith in what the newspaper published.
The working journalist is vitally interested in measures designed to regain the reader’s confidence. The working journalist seeks the opportunity and the freedom to re-establish the newspaper as a faithful and trustworthy record of history in the making.
3. In this era of planning, he is anxious that the status and function of the press be defined with some precision. He is anxious also to understand his own position in the new policy dominated by the ideal of the Co-operative Commonwealth, the Welfare State and the Working Class Democracy. He would like to know what is to be his share in the plans for a better order of society.
4. Journalism in India is an unplanned growth. It is a by-product of the political movement, inspired in the early stages by the social and religious reform movements dating back to the time of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
It has radically changed since then, but largely without a steady sense of direction. To remove this deficiency should be one of the objectives of any plan for the future development of journalism in India.
5. that is the basic governing purpose of the survey made and the suggestion put forward in this memorandum. The approach is intended to be severely factual. Superficially, much of what is stated in these pages might seem excessively critical of newspaper ownership and control and might be mistaken for morbid pre-occupation with grievances.
That would be a misreading of the memorandum. It is not intended to be a document of denigration. It aims at a faithful portrayal of conditions as they are and as they affect the working journalist.
6. The Federation feels that it can help the Commission best by presenting facts with fidelity, even with a certain harsh fidelity, where necessary. That does not mean a denial of credit where credit is due.
The working journalist readily acknowledges that there are newspapers in this country which strive to maintain professional and economic standards at as high a level as can be found in any comparable country.
7. In adopting a predominantly critical tone, the memorandum seeks to reflect the general attitude of the public at large not merely the attitude of the professional journalist.
8. The scope of the present enquiry is wider than that of the British Royal Commission. This is a welcome enlargement.
9. The Federation’s constitution includes proof readers and a press photographer among working journalists, and, accordingly all that is stated in the memorandum applies generally to them. No specific reference is made to the press worker, the clerk, and other employees of the newspaper. They will no doubt speak for themselves.
Their importance in the newspaper world is accepted. So is the need for better conditions for them as much as for others. It will be for the Commission to visit the various newspaper offices meets these and other classes of employees and generally observe the conditions in which newspapers are produced.
10. An attempt is made in the memorandum to deal with all the subjects raised in the terms of reference. A certain amount of overlapping has become unavoidable in this process.
The same set of facts and suggestions appear in more than one part of the memorandum, but, it is hoped that their relevance to the context would be obvious.
11. This is a preliminary memorandum, prepared on the understanding that in reply to the questionnaire, to be issued by the Commission, the Federation and bodies affiliated to will have an opportunity to put their case more fully and with supporting evidence.
The Federation and its units are proceeding on the assumption that statements which are made in this proceeding on the assumption that statements which are made in this memorandum and which will hereafter be made by witnesses are fully protected.
An authoritative assurance from the Commission to this effect will encourage the production of all the data that can help it in its work.
12. Though the central purpose of the memorandum is to describe and explain the existing position and not to suggest reform, reference is made under various heads to certain directions in which remedies may be sought. They are offered as suggestions for exploration. The considered proposals of the Federation will be put forward at the appropriate stage of the enquiry.