Kashmir Newspapers Run Blank Front Pages in Protest

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SRINAGAR — All the leading dailies in the Kashmir valley came up with a blank front page on Sunday as a mark of protest against the “unexplained denial” of advertisements by the government to two Srinagar based newspapers.

“In protests against the unexplained denial of advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader,” read the blank front pages of the newspapers published on Sunday.

The decision to come out with blank front pages was taken by the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) that also staged a protest at Srinagar Press Club ‘Aiwan-e-Sahafat’ here in the afternoon.

“With utmost regret, the Kashmir Editors’ Guild wishes to inform that the authorities have stopped state government advertisements to two major daily newspapers — Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader,” KEG said in a statement, adding that the decision was neither conveyed formally nor was any reason detailed to the respective publications.

The extraordinary protest by Srinagar based newspapers came 15 days after the ads were withdrwan to the two newspapers. Kashmir Editors Guild had recently written to the Press Council of India expressing its disenchantment over the ‘unexplained’ move by the government.

The statement by the KEG had said, “The puzzling decision is directly hitting the constitutional guarantees that encourage free media in democratic societies. We had requested the authorities to at least offer us a reason for why the advertisements were stopped, without intimation and reason. We have not been given an iota of reason, so far.”

The statement by the KEG had said that the ban ‘deprived the two publications of the rightful revenue stream and has started hurting the state and status of journalism in Kashmir.’

While there is no written order, the newspapers have been verbally conveyed the government decision by the J&K’s Directorate of Information.

The KEG and the editors forum held a protest at Press Club here on Sunday afternoon against the government decision.
 

Jammu and Kashmir is currently under the Governor’s rule with the Centre’s Narendra Modi government in charge of the state’s administration.

 

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