The Editors Guild of India on Monday, 26 October, backed journalists working with Republic TV while also stating that it was “high time the channel behaved responsibly.”
In a statement released after the Mumbai Police registered a First Information Report against the journalists, the guild said that victimisation of journalists should immediately stop.
“The use of arbitrary state power is not and has never been in the interests of working journalists,” the guild said in its statement.
This comes against the backdrop of Republic TV being investigated for alleged manipulation of Television Rating Points.
The Editors Guild of India has issued a statement on FIRs that have been filed against journalists of Republic TV pic.twitter.com/tA4RFKDaBX
— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) October 26, 2020
Prioritise ‘Safety of Journalists’
The Editors Guild of India asked the channel to behave responsibly and “not compromise the safety of its journalists as well as hurt the collective credibility of media.”
"“The High Court asked a question that must be addressed by all: ‘Is this part of investigative journalism? Asking the public about their opinion on who should be arrested?’ Also, the bench wondered whether the channel in the name of investigative journalism was encroaching into the domain of police. Similar reservations about its conduct have been expressed even by News Broadcasters Association (NBA) that disagrees with its reporting.” " - Editors Guild of India
To the Mumbai Police, it said that the investigation must not “become a tool to suppress media rights.”
FIR Against Republic TV Staff
The Mumbai Police on 23 October lodged an FIR against several staffers of Republic TV news channel on charges of defamation and inciting "disaffection" against the Police Department.
The accused Republic TV channel staffers named in the FIR are Executive Editor Niranjan Narayanswamy, Deputy News Editors Sagarika Mitra and Shawan Sen, Anchor/Senior Associate Editor Shivani Gupta, Deputy Editor Shawan Sen, other editorial staff and the newsroom in-charge. The FIR has involved various sections of Indian Penal Code and Police Act, 1922.
Reacting to the development, the Republic TV termed it as "shocking", "witch-hunt" and "a shocking assault on media rights" by the Mumbai Police.
(With inputs from IANS)
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