Editors Guild of India "distressed, shocked" at excesses on journalists in J and K

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New Delhi, Aug 27 : Even as violence over the Amarnath Shrine land transfer row continues in Jammu and Kashmir, the apex body of journalists the "Editors Guild of India" is distressed and shocked by both the excesses against journalists and communalization of journalism in the state.

In a press release issued today, the Guild said it is disturbed that the media in Jammu and Kashmir was under "enormous stress" from the government, security and intelligence agencies, separatist groups, militants and jingoistic groups.

It said: "Journalists have been beaten up by security personnel, there is gross misuse of curfew rules to harass and intimidate journalists, while editors and journalists are also constantly threatened by the opposing groups."

The Guild demanded that the Centre and the state government should ensure that no journalist is intimidated from performing his or her duty, and that all publications had the right to bring out and distribute their publications.

It condemned the restrictions imposed on distribution and dispatch of newspapers and magazines in Jammu and Kashmir, including suspension of courier services, as rumour, gossip and innuendos will take over in the absence of fair news and diverse comments from the media.

The Guild reiterated that newspapers should exercise balance and fairness in reporting any event, especially issues which can easily flare passions and cause immense damage to society. "Whatever its professed beliefs, stance or role, the publication/electronic channel can maintain them only to the extent it sustains the credibility for presenting facts honestly, and commenting on them fairly, without any bias," it said in the press release.

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