Valley based newspapers suspend publication
Editors ridicule Govt’s claim of lifting curbs on media
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, July 9: Editors of Valley based newspapers on Friday ridiculed the government claim that it had lifted curbs on the local media and decided to suspend the publication of newspapers till authorities issue sufficient number of curfew passes for the staff members and distributors.
“Earlier the government used to impose undeclared curfew now it has imposed undeclared ban on the media,” said, noted cartoonist and the Managing Editor of leading Urdu daily Srinagar Times.
He said that in the morning various Valley based newspapers received phone calls from the state’s Information department that local dailies can resume publication and they can collect new curfew passes but they remained non committal about the number of passes to be issued. “All the newspaper offices were sent handful of passes. Newspaper office is an industry and editor only cannot run it. We need passes for reporters, sub-editors, layout designers, hawkers and distributors. Few passes won’t serve any purpose,” he added.
Bashir said that editors of various local dailies deliberated upon the issue and they unanimously decided to suspend the publication of newspapers till sufficient number of passes are issued. “We also want to seek the assurance from the government that distributors and hawkers will be allowed to distribute the newspapers,” he added.
Meanwhile, editors, working journalists, photo journalists and video journalists on Friday denounced the government claim that restrictions on media had been lifted. They decided to suspend the publication of newspapers for tomorrow in view of insufficient number of curfew passes issued and continued attacks on media.
In a joint statement they termed the government announcement as a mere eyewash to counter the condemnation from journalist bodies at national and International level.
In a joint statement they said they had decided to hold a joint meeting but given the restrictions couldn’t do so. The members then had the deliberations on telephone and the issue of continued restrictions was discussed threadbare.
Government’s discriminatory attitude towards Kashmir based media persons who were denied access to information and events but the journalists coming from Delhi were treated as special guests and all facilities were extended to them.
“Curfew passes were cancelled, media persons were beaten and forced to remain indoors and the government has the cheek to say that there were no restrictions,” the statement said, adding, “Even when the members were discussing the situation, one senior journalist Riyaz Masroor was beaten and left with a fractured arm,” the statement said.
Though the government claimed that curfew passes were issued to Editors of the newspapers and few accredited journalists, the statement said that it was only to deceive those national and international bodies who had extended solidarity to hundreds of Kashmiri journalists who continue to be under siege.
“It is not the Editor who can bring out a newspaper. There are other people – people involved with desk-top printing; lay-out designing; printing; distribution who make the publication possible. Issuing a few curfew passes is not going to help publication,” the statement said.
And also, the statement said, the staff members of newspapers are stuck in different curfew hit areas and therefore how could the curfew passes be delivered to them so that they are able to report to their respective organisations. Similarly the working journalists are facing problems in moving to offices and other places to get information.
Deliberating upon these issues, the statement said, these organizations described government’s reported decision of issuing a few curfew passes as a mere eyewash lacking seriousness.
In this backdrop, the statement said, that it was not humanly possible to publish and then circulate the newspapers given the restrictions and therefore there would be no newspaper on Saturday too.
The statement said that members would have another meeting Saturday to review the situation and chalk out future strategy accordingly.
The organizations expressed solidarity with all the media persons who were brutalized during these days by armed forces and condemned the attack on Riyaz Masroor.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 9 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 9 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 10 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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