Jammu and Kashmir Press Corps (JKPC) has condemned a BBC article on Kashmir media.
BBC had recently carried a story headlined, ‘Any story could be your last’ – India’s crackdown on Kashmir press’.
In a statement, JKPC said the article is not only factually incorrect but also maliciously written, serving as a tool to defame the thriving mainstream media in Kashmir.
JKPC noted that the BBC article fails to verify facts with the numerous mainstream journalists employed by over 150 newspapers in Kashmir. JKPC said the article contains unfounded opinions that are libelous, slanderous, and disgraceful, tarnishing the reputation of the mainstream media in Kashmir.
The BBC’s report, JKPC said, suggests a stifling atmosphere for journalists in Kashmir, alleging threats and arrests for unbiased coverage attempts. JKPC rebutted the claims, asserting that there are no such instances of harassment or restrictions on press freedom within the region.
JKPC took strong exception to the phrase that ` any story could be your last’. JKPC said thousands of journalists work in the valley without issue or restriction.
JKPC said individuals arrested on charges of aiding and abetting terror, including some self-proclaimed journalists found in possession of hand grenades, are currently within the jurisdiction of the legal system.
JKPC urged that cases be adjudicated through proper judicial channels rather than subjected to a media trial. BBC report is a malicious narrative borrowed from secessionist ideology, relying on unverified allegations and biased sources.
JKPC said the report heavily depends on anonymous sources, raising questions about the credibility of the claims made. Without transparency and accountability, these sources could potentially be products of the reporter’s imagination or fictionalized by elements with secessionist affiliations in the valley.
JKPC said the article reflects a complete lack of editorial integrity and due diligence on the part of the publication, violating the fundamental tenets of editorial ethics and integrity. JKPC demanded that the BBC withdraw its story and issue an unconditional apology to the media fraternity of Kashmir.
Those who condemned the BBC report include Raj Daluja (State Times), Hafiz Ayaz ( Rising Kashmir ), Chasfeeda Shah (Kashmir Scan), Zahoor Hashmi (Daily Aftab), Sajad Hyder (Kashmir Observer), Bashir Manzar (Kashmir Images), Shameem Mehraj (Kashmir Monitor), Mohammad Aslam (KNS), Manzoor Anjum (Daily Uqab), Arshid Rasool (Daily Gadyal), Javed Shah (Good Morning Kashmir), Ajaz Rashid (Era of Kashmir), Anil Raina (Morning Kashmir), Sheikh Saleem (Kashmir Convener), Captain Murti (Greater Jammu), Syed Basharat (Kashmir Dispatch), Bilal Bashir (Srinagar Jang), Mukhtar Dar (Daily Fish Eye), Farooq Ahmad (Srinagar Mail), Waseem Shah (Kashmir Rays).