Advertisement
Thursday, Jul 07, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Kashmiri Journalists Protest Against New Media Policy In Srinagar

The protesting journalists said the new policy would cripple journalism in Kashmir, and that it makes the government the editor, printer, and publisher of newspapers in the valley.

Kashmiri Journalists Protest Against New Media Policy In Srinagar
Journalists protesting against the New media policy in Srinagar, Kashmir.
Kashmiri Journalists Protest Against New Media Policy In Srinagar
outlookindia.com
2020-07-06T18:12:01+05:30

A group of Kashmiri journalists on Monday staged a protest in Srinagar against the new media policy of the Jammu and Kashmir administration and demanded its immediate rollback. They said the new policy would cripple journalism in the Valley, and that it makes the government the editor, printer, and publisher of newspapers in the Union Territory. 

“Under the policy, before publishing any story, we have to report to the government to take their permission,” said Rashid Rahi, President, J&K Editors Association. He questioned the need for the government to come up with a separate media policy for Jammu and Kashmir. “It is a threat to journalism in Kashmir. Before circulating news, you have to seek permission and that speaks volumes about the policy,” he said, seeking rollback of the policy. 

The protesting journalists, who assembled at Kashmir press enclave at Lal Chowk, were seen carrying banners that read “Don’t Gag Media” and “Down with Media Policy 2020”.

“Under the policy, if you fail to get consent from the concerned officials to publish news reports or articles, your newspaper registration can be cancelled, FIR can be filed, or government advertisements can be barred. It makes government the editor, publisher and printer of the newspaper,” Rahi said.

The media policy formed by the government last month gives it power to examine the content of print, electronic and other media for “fake news, plagiarism and unethical or anti-national activities.” “Any individual or group indulging in fake news, unethical or anti national activities or in plagiarism shall be de-empaneled besides being proceeded against under law,” the policy reads. The government has not defined what is deems as “anti-national”. Similarly, there is no explanation about what is ethical. The government has also left “fake news and plagiarism” undefined. 

The policy document says that J&K has significant law and order and security considerations. “It has been fighting a proxy war supported and abetted from across the border. In such a situation, it is extremely important that the efforts of anti-social and anti-national elements to disturb the peace are thwarted. In order to ensure it, it shall be made incumbent that before empanelment of newspapers, news portals for release of advertisements by the government, the antecedents of the paper, news portal as well that of its publisher/editors/key personnel are duly gone into,” the media policy reads. 

It also says that while giving accreditations, a robust background check including verification of antecedents of each journalist would be carried out with the assistance of the relevant authorities. “For this purpose, the guidelines for accreditation shall be revised and updated to reflect this requirement.”

The policy has evoked criticism from several quarters for violating the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement