Sealing KT office ‘reprehensible’: Editors Guild of India

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/23/2020 12:24:37 PM

JAMMU, Oct 22: The Editors Guild of India has condemned the government’s move to seal Kashmir Times’ Srinagar office. The Editors Guild of India termed the move as “reprehensible”.
The Guild also claimed that local media organisations in the Union Territory were already going through tough times because of constant communication shutdowns, lack of advertising revenue and government imposed lockdowns and said that the government should assist the organisations instead of making things worse for them.
The full text of the statement, signed by its newly elected body including Seema Mustafa, President, Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary and Anant Nath, Treasurer:
The unprecedented and sudden sealing of the Srinagar offices of Kashmir Times is reprehensible, and has disturbing implications for the media of the two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Newspapers and Magazines in the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir were already ravaged by conflict, with editors and correspondents working against difficult odds.
Publications have steadily lost advertising over the last decade. Jammu and Kashmir's communication shutdowns, followed by the pandemic lockdown, have totally stopped the trickle of revenue. The online editions are crippled by the slow internet speed imposed by the government. The Kashmir Times, a 55-year-old publication, was forced to shut down its Srinagar edition in March.
Instead of assisting the media, which was most needed in these dark times, the administration without any notice took control of the office of Kashmir Times, putting its lock on the door. The newspaper editor, Ms. Anuradha Bhasin, and the staff have been denied access to records, computers, furniture and equipment in the office.
The Editors Guild of India considers the action of state administration vindictive and injurious not just to the Kashmir Times, but also to the entire free media in the Union Territory. The Guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to restore status quo, and to create circumstances in which media can function without hindrance and without fear.



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