Srinagar: The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has expressed ‘serious concern’ over the systematic governmental efforts aimed at weakening the institution of media in Kashmir. Reviewing the state of media and the issues confronting it, especially the print part of it, the Guild in its marathon meeting, early this week, suggested the government to avoid amnesia on key decision-making and start implementing the mutually agreed decisions pertaining to the operations of the media across the state, according to a statement issued here.
The KEG regretted the deliberate attempts to restrict and ‘discipline’ the media, directly and indirectly by various appendages of the government, and decided to fight and foil these attempts. The Srinagar media corps, over the decades, has immensely contributed to the constitutionally enshrined freedom of speech, at times, at colossal costs, and will continue to do so.
The meeting expressed serious concern over the crippling modifications in the key decisions that KEG and the government had arrived at in half-a-year long deliberations at various levels. These include decisions about the accreditation policy, Aiwan-e-Sahafat in Srinagar, the so-called reforms process, new advertisement rates and many other issues. While the KEG expected that initiatives would take off quickly especially after the government appointing a full-fledged Information Minister, but it has not moved beyond photo-ops, so far.
KEG reiterates its stand that strengthening the institution of media, rather than strangulating it, is crucial to the well being of the state, already passing through challenging times.