Journalists Confront Daily Hazards in India’s Conflict Zones

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has issued two new situation reports

on the difficulties confronting journalists, their organisations and media

outlets in India’s conflict

areas of Jammu and

Kashmir and the states of the

North-East.

 

While conditions vary

between regions and conflicts, the reports detail the multiple ways in which

media personnel in these regions are restrained from going about their jobs, the

security risks they deal with while reporting in a volatile environment, state

restrictions on content and broadcasting, and a “blame the messenger” attitude

when media reporting on controversial issues puts pressure on both local

administrations and their opponents.

 

Attacks against

journalists and the media come from opposing sides, as governmental pressure is

exerted through legal mechanisms and security forces while armed militant groups

also vie to control media content in their favour.

 

Priority concerns raised

in the reports are the abysmally low levels of compensation and poor working

conditions that journalists in these regions

suffer.

 

Governing authorities,

state security agencies and militant groups are called on to respect the right

of journalists to access information from all sides of a conflict situation.

 

This requires, above all,

that the civilian status of journalists in zones of armed conflict and

insurgency be treated as an inviolable principle, in accordance with  United

Nations Security Council Resolution 1738 which obliges all parties to a conflict

to protect journalists reporting in conflict areas.


For the full reports, see:

India Kashmir Situation Report 2009.pdf

India North East Situation Report 2009.pdf