Srinagar, April 3: The fresh decision of the government to stop advertisements to Kashmir Uzma after Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader for unknown reasons is regrettable and unfortunate. The latest ban, like the previous one, has been reportedly implemented without conveying to the newspaper management.
Such curbs on the fourth estate in a democratic setup are unacceptable and authorities should ensure that the media, in one of the most sensitive states in the country, is not strangulated.
Putting bans on government advertisements to newspapers will impact the state and status of both the journalists and the journalism in Kashmir and is an arm-twisting tactic by the authorities. Attempts are being made to interfere in the freedom of the press by exerting financial pressure which is highly unfortunate.
The government has a duty to respect the freedom of the press, and the right of people to receive information. It cannot stop advertisements simply for being critical of the government. The Kashmir media is reporting the same morbidity as the overall situation afflicted economy represents.