Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Fork-tongued statement of Editors Guild underlines deep divisions in Indian media


A belated statement by the Editors Guild against the sustained attack launched by Maharashtra government on Republic TV and its Chief Arnab Goswami is laughable and ridiculous.

The statement issued will go down in the history of Indian journalism as one that matches Jai’s character played by Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay while advocating his friend Veeru’s good character before Mausi ji, played by Leela Mishra. Nothing else can describe the Editors Guild statement than what Jai did in that famous scene.

While the statement pretends to speak in favour of hundreds of journalists working in Republic TV, it looks more like a chargesheet against the Republic TV and mediapersons who have different takes on important issues from those of the office-bearers of Editors Guild, or to be precise, the group of so called ‘liberal, secular, progressive, left-leaning’ journalists.

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The first para is full of inane sentences, like: “The use of arbitrary state power is not and has never been in the interests of working journalists.”

Editor's Guild statement
Editor’s Guild statement

Really? This is a sentence written by people from Editors Guild? No one thought it proper to edit out such ridiculous sentences from a statement to be issued for a guild supposed to be that of top editors of this great country?

All other paragraphs of the sentences are nothing but a litany of charges against Republic TV and perhaps every other media organisation that does not toe a particular line favoured by the three signatories, namely president Seema Mustafa, general secretary Sanjay Kapoor and Treasurer Anant Nath.

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Anyone can read the statement and find it hard to say whether it was in defence of journalists or against them. Sample this: “Besides the unsavoury details pertaining to the manipulation of TRPs, the Republic TV’s high-strung conduct during the unfortunate demise of film actor, Sushant Singh Rajput also raises issues about media credibility and the limits to reporting.”

Really? Written by Editors Guild to defend journalists and media? Even a criminal does not defend his buddies with such Jai-ish statements.

This statement from Editors Guild only underlines the fact that in India the media has a vertical division. And the division lines are getting deeper and deeper with time.

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You can almost predict which media houses and which mediapersons would support Republic TV and Arnab Goswami, which ones would remain fork-tongued and which ones would openly oppose it.

Sad state of affairs for Indian media and journalists.

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