Editors condemn communalisation of J

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (UNI) Even as it expressed distress over the communalisation of media in Jammu and Kashmir, the Editors Guild of India today demanded that the governments at the Centre and the state, the security forces, and civil society ensure that journalists were not intimidated from performing their duty, and that all publications were allowed to come out.

''Guild is distressed and shocked by both the excesses against journalists, and also the communalisation of journalism in Jammu and Kashmir during the current political crisis affecting the state,'' its president Alok Mehta and Secretary General K Sachidananda Murthy said in a statement here.

They condemned the restrictions imposed on distribution and despatch of newspapers and magazines in the state, saying rumour, gossip and inneundo would take over in the absence of fair news and diverse comments from the media.

Meanwhile, they noted with shock that some newspapers in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir had become not only partisan but also were encouraging communal hatred through their biased and inflammatory reports, and opinion pieces.

''The poison has affected the readers and advertisers, as the agitating groups in Kashmir Valley were calling for boycott of newspapers from Jammu region, while similar calls were given in Jammu region against the newspapers from the Valley. Advertisers were also being forced by agitating groups to boycott newspapers which are on the hit list of these irresponsible groups.'' ''The Guild reiterates that newspapers should exercise balance and fairness in reporting any event, especially issues which can easily flare passions and cause immense damage to society,'' the statement said.

UNI NAZ PK HT1845

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