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Mainstream, VOL LX No 25, New Delhi, June 11, 2022

Media should not be giving legitimacy to divisive and toxic voices - Statement by Editors Guild of India

Saturday 11 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT

June 8th, 2022

The Editors Guild of India is disturbed by the irresponsible conduct of some national news channels for deliberately creating circumstances that target vulnerable communities by spewing hatred towards them and their beliefs.

Expectedly, there was a riot in Kanpur accompanied by an unprecedented trenchant reaction from many countries that were offended by the remarks of the ruling party spokespersons. In their angry statements they wondered about India’s commitment to human rights and freedom of religion.

The incident that caused unnecessary embarrassment to the country could have been avoided if some of the TV outlets had been mindful of the nation’s constitutional commitment to secularism, as well as the journalistic ethics and guidelines that the Press Council of India has issued to handle a volatile communal situation.

Instead, some of these channels prompted by the desire to increase viewership and profit were seemingly inspired by the values of Radio Rwanda whose incendiary broadcast caused a genocide in the African nation.

EGI demands that these channels pause and take a critical look at what they have done by giving legitimacy to divisive and toxic voices that has made the national discourse coarse and the gap between communities unbridgeable.

The Editors Guild of India also demands stricter vigilance by broadcaster and journalist bodies to prevent a recurrence of this from taking place. The media is in place to strengthen the Constitution and the law and not break it through sheer irresponsibility and absence of accountability.

Thanks and regards,

Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

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