The Editors Guild of India Monday expressed concern over “growing attacks and unsubstantiated charges levelled against the media” and took strong exception to some expression used by former Army chief V.K. Singh and AAP leader Arvind Kejrwal.
“It is distressing to find a person like Gen. V.K Singh using the term ‘presstitutes’ to describe journalists who wrote a story on the movement of army units causing concern to the government, a statement unbecoming of a former chief of the Indian army,” said a statement issued by the guild.
“It is equally disquieting to find Arvind Kejriwal attributing corrupt motives to the media that were critical of him and charging media with being pressured into ignoring him without coming up with specific details or material to substantiate such charges,” the statement said.
The tendency to attack or abuse the media is not restricted to the newer players, and leaders of established parties are not immune to it either, it said. “Ironically, leaders who built up reputations and support by engaging the public through the media are now turning on the very media when they come under critical scrutiny,” it added.
The Editors Guild also appealed to political leaders and public figures not to resort to “vague, unsubstantiated charges of corrupt motives and abuses when refuting, questioning or criticising the media, and keep the public discourse civil and within reasonable bounds”.