Kerala Assembly Speaker declines Rues Nation’s press freedom index
India’s position in the world press freedom ranking is in decline and this is the time when journalists must be constantly on the lookout for anything that could compromise secularism and the unity of the people, Kerala Assembly Speaker MB Rajesh said on Saturday. He said that in today’s world the media are facing direct attacks across the world and that means democracy is in danger.
Speaking at the launch of the Global Malayalee Press Club (GMPC) website in Kochi, the president said journalists should not become the propagandists of those who divide society. Assembly opposition leader VD Satheesan warned those abusing the media. In a sensitive time like this, the challenge for the media is to deal with issues that affect the unity of society, he said.
“The other day news of journalists brutally attacked in Afghanistan arrived. It is easy for us to talk about Afghanistan, but it will be difficult for us to talk about India, where editor-in-chief Gauri Lankesh was shot dead. Many local journalists have been killed. India’s position in the world press freedom rankings is declining. This means that democracy is in danger, ”Mr. Rajesh said. According to the 2021 World Press Freedom Index by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, India is 142nd out of 180 countries. India’s rank was 133 in 2016 and dropped to 142 in 2020.
“This is the time when journalists must be constantly on the lookout for anything that could endanger secularism and the unity of the people,” he said.
Besides Rajesh and Satheesan, Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden and others helped launch the website of GMPC, an international network of Malayalee journalists and media.
“We’ll be very popular tonight, but social media can make us unpopular in a matter of hours. There are people who abuse social media. Likewise, there are people who abuse the media. In a sensitive time like this, the challenge before the media is to manage issues that affect the unity of society, ”said Satheesan.
Mr Rajesh said society these days sees people in senior positions making irrational and irresponsible statements. “Not to become the propagandists of those who say things detrimental to the communal unity and harmony of a society like Kerala is an important qualification of a journalist,” he said.
George Kallivayalil, President of GMPC, addressing the assembly, gave an overview of the formation of such an initiative.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)