Situation of
freedom of
expression in
India’s Tribal
State of
Chhattisgarh
Journalists in trouble when
reporting on tribes...
ABOUT
CHATTISGARH
• primarily a rural state
• According to a report by
the government of India,
at least 34% - Scheduled
T...
Condition of tribals in Chhattisgarh
 increase in conflict and violence since
2005.
 Illegal detention, forcible evictio...
Media coverage
 very little media coverage of
the Adivasi’s plight, even within
India.
 This is partly because there are...
Conflict coverage by
journalists: Curbs on
the Press
 Journalists are prevented
from reporting and
investigating by corru...
CASE STUDY: KAMAL SHUKLA
 In one of the latest cases of
violence, Kamal Shukla, the
local bureau chief of the
Hindi-langu...
 The attack was apparently prompted by articles
about illegal logging in Chhattisgarh that Shukla
wrote for local newspap...
 The attack came three weeks after India, along
with Pakistan and Brazil, rejected a proposed
action plan on safety for j...
SUPREME COURT
 India’s supreme court has
meanwhile said it wants to
draft guidelines for media
coverage of court
proceedi...
 “The natural instinct of
most politicians and
bureaucrats is to hide or
suppress information on one
pretext or another. ...
NEO-JOURNALISM
CITIZEN JOURNALISM
 Shubhranshu Choudhary ,
the founder of CGnet Swara, a
voice portal for citizen journal...
WHAT IS CGNet
SWARA?
The tribals of Chhattisgarh are
the first users of a latest
newscasting system on
cellphone called CG...
Press freedom in India
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Press freedom in India

The Press of India is considered one of the most independent Presses all over the world. But is it really true? Do we really have a free press in the country?
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: News & Politics      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Press freedom in India

  • 1. Situation of freedom of expression in India’s Tribal State of Chhattisgarh Journalists in trouble when reporting on tribes By Ana Sinha
  • 2. ABOUT CHATTISGARH • primarily a rural state • According to a report by the government of India, at least 34% - Scheduled Tribes, 12% - Scheduled Castes and over 50% - official list of OBCs. • The forest areas (44% of the state) are mainly occupied by tribes such as Gond, Halbi, Halba and Kamar/Bujia and Oraon.
  • 3. Condition of tribals in Chhattisgarh  increase in conflict and violence since 2005.  Illegal detention, forcible eviction, rape and murder of women, fake encounters and summary executions are intensifying  over 1000 tribal people have been killed.  Over 45000 people are displaced and compelled to stay in state-run relief camps.  Police and security forces have raped over 200 tribal women in the area.  Nearly 250 school buildings have been demolished and security forces have captured another 150.  Over 1000 innocent tribal villagers, including women have been falsely charged and imprisoned.
  • 4. Media coverage  very little media coverage of the Adivasi’s plight, even within India.  This is partly because there are no Adivasi journalists, or even journalists who speak the local language, but mainly due to intimidation.  The Chhattisgarh Special Security Act has made it a crime to write about the Maoists, and local journalists have been threatened. Most of the major newspapers are unquestioningly supportive of the government.
  • 5. Conflict coverage by journalists: Curbs on the Press  Journalists are prevented from reporting and investigating by corrupt politicians and police, many receiving harassment, intimidation and beating.  Reporting on the Maoist conflict in this area is restricted to press releases by government officials and on occasion statements issued by the Maoists.  There are heavy restrictions on the freedom of movement and expression causing many victims not to speak out underneath the one-sided government press releases and gagged journalists.
  • 6. CASE STUDY: KAMAL SHUKLA  In one of the latest cases of violence, Kamal Shukla, the local bureau chief of the Hindi-language daily Rajasthan Patrika, was attacked in his office in Kanker, in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh, on 11 April by political activist Anupam Awasthi. Accompanied by two other men, Awasthi beat Shukla on the back and shoulders with a steel bar and smashed his computer and camera. He had to be hospitalized for five days.
  • 7.  The attack was apparently prompted by articles about illegal logging in Chhattisgarh that Shukla wrote for local newspapers and the citizen journalism website CGNet Swara at the end of March. Shukla’s revelations, subsequently picked up by national newspapers, included the claim that a village official involved in the illegal logging was the brother of Chhattisgarh’s minister of forests. According to the International Federation of Journalists, Awasthi is an associate of the minister and, before the attack, had tried to bribe Shukla to drop the story.
  • 8.  The attack came three weeks after India, along with Pakistan and Brazil, rejected a proposed action plan on safety for journalists and the problem of impunity at a UNESCO meeting in Paris on 23-24 March. Discussed by members of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for Development of Communication, it included concrete recommendations for improving the safety of media personnel and asked members countries to adopt legal measures for the prosecution of those responsible for murders of journalists.
  • 9. SUPREME COURT  India’s supreme court has meanwhile said it wants to draft guidelines for media coverage of court proceedings into order to achieve a balance between the right to media freedom and the rights of defendants. The grounds for the view that guidelines are needed is said to be concern that the media sometimes influence public opinion with reports that are unverified or baseless.
  • 10.  “The natural instinct of most politicians and bureaucrats is to hide or suppress information on one pretext or another. The adoption of media guidelines by the supreme court would embolden them, further undermining the public’s right to be informed.”  In a 30 March article on The Hindu’s website, journalist Siddharth Varadarajan voiced alarm at the possibility that the supreme court would itself draft a code of conduct with which journalists would have to comply. “This would open the door to the other branches of government (...) making similar demands on the media as a precondition to gaining access to parliament and legislatures, ministries, public institutions, hospitals, universities etc,” Varadarajan wrote.
  • 11. NEO-JOURNALISM CITIZEN JOURNALISM  Shubhranshu Choudhary , the founder of CGnet Swara, a voice portal for citizen journalists to report or listen to audio bytes in Hindi, Gondi about Chhattisgarh, is using a unique campaign to equip tribal citizens with journalistic skills to enhance the reportage of their issues.  In order to teach Journalism to tribals, CGnet Swara ( www.cgnetswara.org) is undertaking a unique campaign to take Citizen Journalism to Adivasis in Central India. The organization is reaching out to Adivasi haats with dance, drama and puppet show to tell them how they can use their mobile phone to tell the world what is happening around them.
  • 12. WHAT IS CGNet SWARA? The tribals of Chhattisgarh are the first users of a latest newscasting system on cellphone called CGnet Swara, a combined effort of a fellow of the International Centre for Journalists, of a fellow of Microsoft Research and a researcher of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer science department. All the tribals have to do to report is dial on 08066932500 on their cellphone, followed by '1' to record their message or '2' to listen to the local news.

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