Editors Guild of India
January 3, 2019
The Editors Guild of India has noted with concern the words used by Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his criticism of ANI Editor-in-Chief Smita Prakash who interviewed Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week.
The Guild believes journalists should claim no immunity from healthy and civilised criticism. At the same time, labelling of journalists has emerged as a favourite tactic on the part of the establishment to discredit, delegitimise and intimidate them.
We have seen our political class use this for some time now. In the recent past, top BJP leaders as well as those of AAP have used unambiguously abusive expressions such as “presstitute”, news-traders, “bazaaru” (saleable commodities) or “dalals” (pimps) for journalists.
Combined with ploys such as boycotts, denial of access and lately government accreditation, this adds up to a reprehensible strategy to throttle media freedoms.
This must be reversed. Journalists, we believe, will continue to deal with these with their usual thick skins and not let these tactics intimidate them. The Guild, as an apex, non-partisan institution, however, takes strong exception to this tendency and calls for its halt.