Journalists stage protest against New Media Policy

Pic: Habib Naqash/GK
Pic: Habib Naqash/GK

Journalists affiliated with various media associations on Monday staged a joint protest against the New Media Policy-2020 and demanded its immediate rollback.

The journalists assembled at the Press Enclave here under the banner of J&K Media Guild.

Protesting journalists termed the New Media Policy as an attempt to "gag freedom of press."

President JK Media Guild Mir Ajaz Ahmad said "the intentions of the government clearly indicate an official gag to prevent us from reporting truth."

"But we will not succumb to these pressure tactics. If this policy is not rolled back we will fight against it at every level and even stage protest in Delhi if need arises," he said.

He said all the media forums and associations have exhibited solidarity to fight against this policy.

"The New Media Policy is aimed at gagging freedom of press. Media persons in Kashmir have been reporting facts against all odds," said Mir Arshid, general secretary of JK Media Association.

"We have always reported in the public interest and also are giving wide coverage to government activities, development and other government sponsored schemes. We don't understand what for this New Media Policy is," he said.

"Journalists have sacrificed a lot in past thirty years while performing their professional duties. Now the concerned authorities want to curb freedom of press," he said.

Imtiyaz Ahmad Bazaz, general secretary JK Media Guild said "if this policy is implemented, journalism in J&K will die a silent death."

"Journalism can't be allowed to remain subservient to whims and wishes of the government agencies."

"We are equally an important pillar of democracy. Let government allow us to work honestly in an open atmosphere to serve the cause of a real democracy," he added.

The J&K administration approved the New Media Policy 2020 in June this year, stating that the policy was "aimed for effective communication and public outreach by the government. The policy has evoked sharp criticism from journalists, politicians and civil society in the Kashmir.

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