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Editors Guild expresses concern about police ‘high-handedness’ obstructing media functioning

In a statement, the Guild said the job of the police was not to impede journalists' work, especially under the current circumstances, but to facilitate their functioning.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: March 26, 2020 9:14:42 pm
editors guild of india, editors guild on coronavirus, coronavirus reporting, india coronavirus lockdown, coronavirus india news Police personnel set up blockades near Chennai airport in view of the 21-day lockdown on Wednesday. (PTI)

The Editors Guild of India on Thursday expressed concern about “high-handed” and “arbitrary” police action which has interrupted the work of journalists reporting on the coronavirus outbreak in many parts of the country.

In a statement, the Guild said the job of the police was not to impede journalists’ work, especially under the current circumstances, but to facilitate their functioning.

“The State and Union Territory governments and the police also need to be reminded that media has been exempted as an essential service under the current lockdown guidelines of the Union Home Ministry,” the statement said.

The Guild urged all law enforcement agencies to let the media play its role as smoothly as possible.?

“It also urges the government to put in place a suitable mechanism to facilitate minister-level regular briefings during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, so that communication does not suffer as it doesn’t give the media adequate opportunity to ask questions,” the statement said.

It expressed concern about “high-handed and arbitrary police action” that “has obstructed many journalists from reporting on the coronavirus outbreak in many parts of the country”.

“Such action is self-defeating when media freedoms are critically important for covering the outbreak and the state response,” the statement said.

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