April 4, 2018

Is India becoming dangerous for journalists?

A wave of attacks on reporters highlights a growing trend of hostility.

Two journalists killed in hit-and-run attacks. Another, seeking information from police, is instead beaten and thrown in jail. Several others assaulted while covering a protest, despite telling authorities they were journalists. And all of those incidents in just the month of March. These attacks underscore the dangers many journalist in India face when trying to do their jobs.

India’s track record on press freedom is far from stellar.  According to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, India ranks 136 out of 180 countries.

But there could be a sliver of hope. This week, the Indian government reversed course on proposed legislation that opposition politicians and journalists said was an attempt to stifle press freedom. The measure sought to punish journalists who published so-called “fake news” by revoking the journalists’ accreditation. The credentials are required to visit government offices or attend news conferences.

So what’s behind the growing hostility towards members of the media and what can be done to protect them? We will pose that to a panel of Indian journalists on this episode of The Stream.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Emmy Ci Lawbei
Journalist, News18

Tridip K Mandal @tridipkmandal
Journalist and Senior Creative Director, The Quint

Daniel Bastard @RSF_AsiaPacific
Head of Asia-Pacific Desk, Reporters Without Borders

Aditi Tandon @anshumalini3
General Secretary, Indian Women's Press Corps

Read more: 

Indian journalist Sandeep Sharma dies in Bhind - Al Jazeera English 
Surge in police violence against journalists in India - Reporters Without Borders 
'It felt like a war zone': Mizo journo on duty attacked by cops - The Quint 

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.