Twitterati talk about journalism on World Press Freedom Day

May 03, 2018, 16:18 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Here's what Twitterverse is talking about World Press Freedom Day

Twitterati talk about journalism on World Press Freedom DayRepresentational picture

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on May 3 every year to uphold the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

Press freedom in India has deteriorated in 2018 and three journalists have been killed in the first four months, media watchdog The Hoot said, stating that "journalists continue to be vulnerable". The number of killings documented by the Hoot report for the first four months was the same as in the whole of 2017. "They were killed in connection with their reporting, judging by what initial investigations show," it said.

Here's what Twitterverse is talking about World Press Freedom Day

India ranks 138th among 180 countries on this year's World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders. India's rank was 136th in 2017 and 133rd in 2016. The number of documented attacks on journalists and media workers across the country during the period was 13. It includes three in West Bengal. In 2017, documented attacks stood at 46.

Apart from these, there were defamation cases that came to trial. A sedition case was filed against a journalist. There was also a clear push by both the State, Centre and the judiciary -- through regulatory policy as well as judicial orders -- to curb free speech.

Three journalists were killed in the January-April period were mowed down by vehicles. On March 26, two Dainik Bhaskar journalists -- Navin Nishchal and Vijay Singh -- were killed when their bike was hit by an SUV in Bhojpur in Bihar. Police said the vehicle was driven by a village leader and that a heated argument between him and the reporters over a news report had preceded the "accident".

A day later, television reporter Sandeep Sharma was mowed down by a truck in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh. Sharma, who had done a sting operation on a sand mining mafia in Bhind, had told police that he had received threats to his life, it said.

Hoot's investigation revealed that politicians, businessmen, members of Hindu right wing groups, police and paramilitary forces, government agencies like the film certification board, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, state governments, lawyers and even media groups had acted to undermine freedom of expression.

India's record on press freedom has remained poor and has been deteriorating over the last couple of years.

-with agency inputs

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