Srinagar, May 03: Journalism without Fear or Favour, most expedient theme selected for 2020 World Press Freedom Day celebrated annually on may 03, as the press has been declared an essential service, and journalists deemed a vital part of the frontline battle against coronavirus.
Social media is highly flooded with the praises and eulogizes of the renowned personalities for media persons working valorously on frontline providing verified, fact-based news and analysis during the ongoing COVID-19 situation in order to bring honest and real news about happenings in the nation, city or state, which if not providentially and cautiously steered by Journalists, may also give rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories.
The day is celebrated to raise awareness regarding the importance of freedom of the press, reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
JP Nadda, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) president while focussing on the importance of the press in playing a significant role during the ongoing COVID-19 situation, took to Twitter and wrote, “Press is the 4th pillar of our democracy & plays a great role in the nation by shaping opinions and creating awareness. On this #WorldPressDay, I salute our media persons for risking their lives to make public aware of various aspects of COVID-19.”
Naseer Ganai, Senior journalist of J&K said, “Journalism is going through a difficult phase in Kashmir, recently cases were slapped under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against two journalists and some others were questioned for their stories by the police. That shows the level of intimidation. “
He further said, “There are other issues. They look very small but have far reaching consequences. They are very low wages of reporters, lack of contract between employers and journalists and the speed with which newspapers owners in past several years terminated services of journalists in J&K without having to worry of any legal consequences.For good journalism to flourish in J&K, you have to fix all these things.”
While talking to Kashmir News Bureau, Samaan Lateef General Secretary Kashmir Working Journalists Association said, “Journalists in Kashmir have always worked under perilous conditions, holding up values of press freedom in the face of dangers to life and liberty and even have been going through difficult times because of the curbs implemented by State authorities. We will continue our struggle for our democratic right of freedom of speech.”