NEW DELHI: Journalists and newspapers have been facing harassment, threats of lawsuits and censorship for their reporting, said Jayant Mammen Mathew, outgoing president of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), in his farewell speech.
Shailesh Gupta of Mid-Day has been elected president of the INS for the year 2019-2020.
Freedom of speech is paramount for a vibrant democracy, Mathew said. “The INS continues to strongly defend freedom of the press and requests the government to uphold press freedom,” Mathew of Malayalam Manorama added.
His speech outlined the importance of the digital medium in people’s lives. “Digital is part of our lives. Surveys show that we check our mobile phones between 75 and 100 times a day. Digital, however, has adversely disrupted print media. The government recently capped FDI for digital news entities on the same lines as print, which was INS’s recommendation as well. This will ensure Indian news sites have a level playing field with news aggregators and other digital news sites,” said Mathew.
He said print media in India had seen growth in readership.