NEW DELHI: The Editors Guild of India said on Monday it was 'pained' to see the victimisation of journalists of Republic TV which is currently being investigated for an alleged TRP scam.
The guild also expressed its concern on Republic TV's 'high-strung conduct' while reporting the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
"The Editors Guild of India is pained to see the unedifying spectacle of hundreds of FIRs being filed against journalists of Republic TV, which is under probe for allegedly manipulating TRPs and spreading discontent against the Mumbai police. We do not wish to influence the probe by the authorities, even if we recognise it has the potential to bring in much-needed transparency on the manipulation of popularity, and creation of "proceeds of crime - as claimed by the police; but the victimisation of the journalists should immediately stop. The use of arbitrary state power is not and has never been in the interests of working journalists," the guild said in a statement.
The guild said the standoff between the Mumbai Police and Republic TV was 'unprecedented' and threatened the balance between media freedom and the 'rule of law'. It reiterated that the right to free speech did not mean a licence to promote hate speech.
It raised concerns about Republic TV's conduct and said it raised issues about media credibility and 'limits to reporting'. The guild drew a reference to Mumbai High Court's observation that the channel was encroaching into the domain of police in the name of 'investigative journalism'.
"These are important issues that should have been resolved long ago, but were allowed to fester. It is high time the channel behaves responsibly and not compromises the safety of its journalists as well as hurt the collective credibility of the media. The police must ensure that its investigation does not become a tool to suppress media rights," it said.
On Saturday, the News Broadcasters Association had issued a statement saying it did not support the 'kind of journalism' practised by Republic TV.