In a statement issued late on Monday, the Goa Union of Journalists (GUJ) slammed Parrikar for questioning the educational qualification and financial worth of reporters at a public function on Sunday evening.

"GUJ takes offence to this statement and demands a public apology for the same from the Chief Minister. The unwarranted and unsubstantiated comments from Parrikar are not his first when it comes to unqualified, scornful assault on the media and it's functioning in Goa," GUJ general secretary Ashley do Rosario said in a statement.

Speaking at a public function earlier on Sunday, Parrikar said, "What is a reporter's salary...How much does a news reader earn? Maybe 25,000  (rupees). They are mostly graduates. They are not great thinkers...intellectuals. They write news how they understand it.”

Parrikar also claimed that there was prevalence of paid news in Goa.

The Goa Union of Journalists said Parrikar should name and shame those journalists or newspaper organisations that he believes are indulging in paid news or maintain his silence until he can prove the charges.

The opposition, both the Congress as well as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), also criticized Parrikar on the issue.

"Does he mean to say that only those who earn more and are better educated can become good journalists? How educated are his ministers?" asked Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar.

NCP state vice-president Trajano D'Mello demanded that journalists should take up the battle to the Chief Minister.

D'Mello said that if Parrikar was aware of "paid news" he should probe the same and arrest those responsible.

"Parrikar should not discredit journalism. He should not paint all journalists with the same brush," D'Mello said.


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