SRINAGAR: Criticizing the media policy adopted by the present government while dealing with the local newspapers, the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) Friday said that the government is hell bent on curbing the print media in the state.
The Editors Guild in a statement issued here said that the serious, genuine and Independent newspapers are being targeted by the government and various steps have been taken to cut them to size.
The government is targeting the newspapers by trying to weaken them financially thus ensuring a sort of censorship over the print media, the statement issued by the KEG after the group met here said.
Not only has the government failed to ensure timely payments to the news organizations but various steps have been initiated by the authorities to ensure that the news papers wind up their operations in the Valley, the statement said, adding that the advertisements issued by the department of Information have been reduced to a trickle forcing the newspapers to adopt various austerity measures.
All this is being done to muzzle the voice of the people whom the local print media represents and promotes, the statement added.
The policy of ensuring censorship over the print media has been followed for several years now and the authorities have been expressing helplessness over resolving any issues confronting the print media, the statement said.
The KEG also felt that the governments lackadaisical attitude adopted towards the local newspapers is an offshoot of the policy that is being promoted to reduce the local newspapers to a nonexistent level.
The newspapers have been made to wait for months together for the payments due to them. Even during the last fiscal, liabilities worth Crores has been created and the local newspapers have been denied payments for months together, the KEG statement said.
The KEG ensured that the advertisement rates are enhanced during the last budget so that the print media manages to tide over the increasing printing and labour costs. However, despite the announcement made during the state budget the circular announcing enhancement of the rates has not been issued yet by the administration, the KEG statement said.
Surprisingly, budget component that had to be increased and projected by the Information department has not been forwarded to the higher authorities, the statement added.
Terming the onslaught on the print media as an assault on the freedom of expression, the KEG threatened to initiate a well devised campaign in case the government does not wake up to the requirements of the print media.
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