Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) senior leader and former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir on Monday expressed solidarity with J&K media fraternity demanding immediate rollback of new media policy in J&K.
In a statement issued here, Mir urged the J&K government to go for a review of new media policy in consultation with representatives of the print, online and electronic media outlets in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The new policy related to media in J&K seems to have been superficially drafted without taking into consideration the fundamental constitutional requirements guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression,” Mir observed.
He expressed deep concern over the plight of the media industry in J&K which has been battling for survival in prevailing circumstances. “Instead of supporting the media industry including print, online and electronic platforms in its survival in these pressing economic situations, the government has started squeezing the viability of the fourth estate,” Mir observed.
The JKAP leader said the government should facilitate and ensure that the media fulfills its role of opposition to government policies which are detrimental to the public welfare. “Instead of supporting the fourth state to highlight the miseries of people and point out the lacunas in the governance system, the government seems to be threatening them of dire consequences for playing the role of a watchdog,” Mir remarked.
He said the government should immediately roll back the proposed policy which is disadvantageous to its spirit. “A policy that has been apparently drafted without consulting the editors’ bodies or association of accredited journalists in J&K is genuinely unacceptable to the media fraternity,” Mir observed.
He said while there is a dire need to check fake news, subversive information and yellow journalism in Jammu and Kashmir, but, that does not mean the journalists would be asked to go for an embedded role and forget about impartiality which is an essential prerequisite for professional journalism.
Mir emphasized on the need to enhance the advertisement rates for print as well as electronic media in view of the escalation in printing costs, growing inflation, and the COVID situation. “The government must offer incentives to media houses in view of their financial constraints due to the pandemic situation and redraft the media policy which addresses the concern of all stakeholders,” he demanded.