‘Situation not conducive for journalists in IOK’ » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, May 04 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, speakers during a seminar said that the situation is not conducive for journalists as they are facing challenges while discharging their professional duties.

The Jammu and Kashmir Editors Forum (JKEF) organized the seminar ‘Bol Ka Lab Azad Hai Teray’ in Srinagar in connection with the World Press Freedom Day.

The speakers said that there are challenges and journalists should have in-depth knowledge about the issues. “Although there are challenges but journalists in Kashmir have remained unbiased while covering the conflict. It is good to see that new breed of journalists is working on different platforms,” they said.

The speakers paid rich tributes to the journalists who were killed in the line of duty including the founding editor of Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari. They said that Shujaat Bukhari’s contribution for healthy journalism would always be remembered. They said the authorities have failed to ensure any welfare scheme for the journalists. Despite assurances nothing has been done on the ground, they added.

The speakers included Muhammad Sayeed Malik, Shuja-ul-Haq, Salim Pandit, Majid Hyderi, Umar Farooq Khan Amiri, Farooq Ahmed Wani, Advocate Asrar Ali and Chasfeeda Shah, Rashid Rahil and Muhammad Aslam.

Meanwhile, journalists in Kashmir organised a host of events to commemorate World Press Freedom Day. The major issues highlighted were the ongoing clampdown on media including ban on advertisements to three leading Kashmir dailies and the working conditions of journalists.

The Kashmir Working Journalist Association (KWJA) in a statement in Srinagar demanded release of illegally detained Kashmiri journalist, Aasif Sultan. Aasif has been detained at Srinagar Central Jail for the last nine months.

On the other hand, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and their affiliates launched the 17th edition of the South Asia Press Freedom Report – Truth vs Misinformation: The Collective Push Back. The report was launched in the Maldives by UNESCO’s New Delhi-chapter.

This report shows that in spite of war mongering, the damaging impacts of fake news and hate speech, and the politics of control, South Asia’s media workers made it very clear that they have a decisive role to play in fighting the scourge of misinformation and supporting democracy and human rights. And most importantly they have a leading role in truth-telling.

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