At a time when everyone including political parties and leaders are demanding revocation of New Media Policy in Jammu and Kashmir, most of the media outlets and the Associations they have formed are silent on the issue. Not a single statement about New Media Policy have come from any media outlet and Associations they are associated with so for.Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) that claims to represent biggest media houses of Kashmir declined to comment on the issue, however, one of its senior members Raja Mohiuddin who owns multiple publications told news agency KNT that a meeting of the Guild will be called shortly and the matter will be discussed in that very meeting. He said that the matter is very serious and a final decision will be taken shortly.“We are not silent on the issue. A meeting is going to take place shortly and decision will be taken in that meeting over New Media Policy,” Raja Mohiuddin said. Jammu Kashmir Press Association President, Ghulam Hasan Kaloo told KNT that Journalists are squarely responsible for all this mess. “Government divided Journalists and Journalists started creating different Unions and Associations. There are two members, four members Associations on ground right now. We are a divided lot, playing into the galleries of government,” he said.Kaloo said that the New Media Policy is completely ‘anti-media’. “Government wants to see only few houses on ground who could speak their language. It is the job of Journalists to dig out the truth and that truth will become a casualty now due to this new policy,” he said and lauded the role of political parties and political leaders who raised their voice against this New Media Policy. “Credit must be given to them for showing concern in this regard but alas, when they were in power they did everything to demean this profession,” he added.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in response to a ‘powerful’ editorial from a New Delhi based Daily on this New Media Policy said the only version the authorities want heard is their own version. “The truth will be the biggest casualty of this Orwellian order,” Abdullah said.The editorial on the new media policy by the J&K Administration observed that, “Government wants journalists answerable not to their readers, nor their editors, but to government bureaucrats, security officials, who will have the powers to decide which news item is fake or “anti-national”Jammu Kashmir Editors Association President Rasheed Rahi told KNT that it is the responsibility of the government to be patient and ready for listening to criticism. “This policy is aimed at to muzzle the voice of media houses and it seems government doesn’t want to listen the truth,” he said and demanded immediate revocation of this policy.Senior Journalist Rasheed Rahi added that such a policy in a democratic set up can be termed as unhealthy.Secretary JK Editors Association, Feroz Ali said that Journalists in Kashmir are a divided lot. “Its time for media fraternity to get united and fight against this ‘draconian’ policy,” he said.“Journalists are rightly outraged about the Government’s new Kashmir media policy. Perhaps we should also introspect about our inability to create a single newspaper that survives without direct and indirect subsidies from Government and political parties,” Praveen Swami, a senior Journalist tweeted.Jammu Kashmir Editors Forum member Farooq Wani who runs a Daily didn’t show any concern about this policy. He declined to comment on the matter. The new media policy announced by the J&K administration on June 2 gives it powers to decide what is “fake”, “unethical” or “anti-national” news, and to take legal action against the journalist or media organization concerned, including stopping government advertisements and sharing information with security agencies. Almost all the political parties including National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Congress, and Peoples Democratic Front have castigated government over this what they describe as ‘dictatorial and biased’ policy. (KNT)