SAFMA Media Commission asks JK Govt to desist from resorting to persecution


Srinagar, Dec 8: Discussing the difficulties and the pressures media men are working in conflict zones including Kashmir, SAFMA Media Commission has urged Government of Jammu and Kashmir not to resort to stoppage of advertisements to newspapers and desist from resorting to persecution.
 Similarly, it stressed laws that restrict freedom of press in any manner should be repealed.
 During the seminar, Media persons highlighted various factors that were becoming impediment in news dissemination and said that media persons reporting from conflict zones like J&K, Naxal affected areas like Chattisgarh or from North-East to various districts under Maoist influence, live under permanent threat.
 “Threat to their lives and personal security as well as blackmail of their families is common.”
 Speakers said that there was no organized machinery to either protect or to project objective truth about the situation in those areas.
 “Actually, the State Institutions are expected to provide adequate protection and other systems to the journalists—and irrespective of the views of the newspaper and channel concerned.”
 “The media owners / employers are also expected to give monetary and legal back up, including special insurance to the  journalists,” reads the statement.
 “ We regret to note that there is a general apathy and as a result it is a threat to free flow of information, which is a prerequisite for maintaining national unity, integrity and sovereignty.”
 Even media organisations should recognize the urgency of the situation and create means to respond to the challenges posed by the situation in conflict zones.
 SAFMA Media Commission expresses concern at the urges the state institutions, media owners and independent media organisations to join hands to face the grave threat to free media.
 “There are many differences among groups and individuals in media depending on their political perceptions and persuasion. At times of pressure, they need to rise above this and come together and the Press council, Editors Guild of India etc should be the first port of call for help but more than help or to alleviate their suffering. We should express solid solidarity with those who do a difficult job of reporting from the battle lines as it were.”
 “We call on the governments and specially the government of J&K not to resort to stoppage of advertisements to newspapers and desist from resorting to persecution. Similarly, laws that restrict freedom of press in any manner should be repealed.”
 The Seminar on reporting “Conflict Zones” was organized by South Asia Media Commission under the broad mandate to it, of the parent body South Asia Free Media Association, India.
 Press Council of India Chairman Justice (R) M Katju, President South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) K K Katyal, Kuldip Nayyar, H K Dua, Kumar Ketkar, Sanjoy Hazarika, Vinod Sharma, Satish Jacob, Seema Mustafa, Sevanti Ninan, Shujaat Bukhari, Suhas Borker, Iftikhar Gillani and Manika Chopra were prominent who addressed the seminar.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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