54 attacks on journalists in 16 months
New Delhi, May 2 (IANS): As many as 54 attacks on journalists were reported in 16 months, mainly by “lawmakers and law enforcers”, a report compiled by media watchdog Hoot said on Tuesday, a day ahead of the World Press Freedom Day.
The report said the actual figure could be much higher as a minister told Parliament that “142 attacks on journalists took place between 2014-15”. “The stories behind each of these attacks reveal a clear and persistent pattern. Investigative reporting is becoming increasingly dangerous.
“Journalists who venture out into the field to investigate any story, be it sand mining, stone quarrying, illegal construction, police brutality, medical negligence, eviction drive, election campaigns, or civic administration corruption are under attack,” it said. The attacks were committed by political parties and their leaders (8), police (9), and mobs resisting media coverage (9).
Apart from attacks, the report took into account invocation of sedition law, suspension of Internet services in a region, self-censorship on part of media companies, censoring of films and other arts, among other instances which may frustrate free functioning of the media.