Srinagar: Kashmir journalists including editors and reporters have regretted the continued vilification of individuals representing the institution of media even as they continue to be associated with the blood-soaked Srinagar dateline for the last three decades.

In a joint statement on Friday, several media groups said it had become a routine for diverse elements across all the political and ideological thoughts to pass judgement on the Kashmir media and eventually, make it the punching bag to suit their ends.

Those who endorsed the statement include Kashmir Editors Guild, Jammu and Kashmir Editors Forum, Kashmir Press Association, Kashmir Press Club, Kashmir Working Journalists Association, Jammu and Kashmir Working Journalist Association, Kashmir National Television Journalist Association and Kashmir Journalists Corps

In the statement, the organisations said that the media in Kashmir has been struggling to survive as an institution of public service for most of its recorded existence.

“While retaining its status, it has paid a heavy price to stay neutral to the politics and objective to the facts, a rare trait that hardly is being exhibited by media while covering their own conflict. For countless reasons, the media in Kashmir is on the edge and the stakeholders are doing their utmost to bring in some stability to this key public service institution, a statement issued by various media bodies said,” read the statement.

Kashmir journalists across the groupings and the status they hold in their respective organisations have, once again, felt pained over the unwarranted propaganda, aimed at bringing a bad name to individuals and institutions for no apparent reasons or justification, the statement added.

“This propaganda is being deliberately peddled to gossip-hungry social media so that reputations of the professionals are sacrificed for the political ends of the virtual rumour mongers. This propaganda, however, adds to the vulnerability of the media,” it added.

The media in Kashmir has always grown stronger by the assaults from here and there, the statement read adding “the vilification may massage the ego of the people behind these shameful acts but it eventually hurts Kashmir.”

“Media groups take this opportunity to reiterate the larger reality that the media has been covering Kashmir with utmost responsibility and objectivity, something that Kashmir media is proud of. It will continue doing so. An objective media is in everybody’s interest. Kashmir media stands united to defeat the ill designs of such elements,” the statement concluded.

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