Editors Guild of India has slammed some news channels for “deliberately creating circumstances that target vulnerable communities by spewing hatred towards them and their beliefs.”
In a strongly worded statement, the Editors Guild slammed the news channel for their “irresponsible conduct”. It said that owing to these reasons, “expectedly, there was a riot in Kanpur accompanied by an unprecedented trenchant reaction from many countries that were offended by the remarks of the ruling party spokespersons.”
The body said that the incident which caused “unnecessary embarrassment” to the country could have been avoided if the TV outlets had been mindful of the “nation’s constitutional commitment to secularism, as well as the journalistic ethics and guidelines that the Press Council of India has issued to handle a volatile communal situation.”
The Editors Guild went so far as to compare the recent happenings on some national news channels to that of “Radio Rwanda whose incendiary broadcast caused a genocide in the African nation.”
EGI has urged the channels to stop and take a look at what they have caused by “giving legitimacy to divisive and toxic voices that has made the national discourse coarse and the gap between communities unbridgeable.”
It further said, “The Editors Guild of India also demands stricter vigilance by broadcaster and journalist bodies to prevent a recurrence of this from taking place. The media is in place to strengthen the Constitution and the law and not break it through sheer irresponsibility and absence of accountability.”
It must be noted that recently BJP had suspended party spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled their Delhi unit’s media cell head Naveen Jindal from the party’s primary membership. The action was taken after Sharma made derogatory comments on Prophet Mohammad during a TV debate on news channel Times Now, and a few days later Jindal too had put out a tweet with a similar remark about the Prophet.