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Pained at victimisation of Republic TV: Editors Guild hits out at Mumbai Police

In a statement, the Guild also called on the channel to behave responsibly and not compromise the safety of its journalists as well as hurt the collective credibility of media.

Published: 27th October 2020 03:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2020 08:41 AM   |  A+A-

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. (Photo | Twitter)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Editors Guild of India on Monday spoke out against the “victimisation” of journalists of Republic TV and at the same time, expressed concern over the news channel’s ‘high-strung conduct’ while reporting the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. 

It also said it is "pained to see the unedifying spectacle" of hundreds of FIRs being filed against journalists of the news channel, which is under probe for allegedly manipulating TRPs and spreading discontent against the Mumbai police.

In a statement, the Guild also called on the channel to behave responsibly and not compromise the safety of its journalists as well as hurt the collective credibility of media.

“The Editors Guild of India is pained too 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...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 use of arbitrary state power is not and has never been in the interests of working journalists, the statement said.

It said the standoff between Mumbai Police and Republic TV was “unprecedented” and threatened the balance between media freedom and the rule of law.  

"This standoff between the Mumbai Police and the TV channel is unprecedented and threatens the tenuous but important to maintain balance between media freedom and the imperative for it to reside within the rule of law. Right to free speech does not mean a licence to promote hate speech,"

"Besides the unsavoury details pertaining to the manipulation of TRPs, the Republic TV's high-strung conduct during the unfortunate demise of film actor Sushant Singh Rajput also raises issues about media credibility and the limits to reporting," the statement said.

The police must ensure that its investigation does not hurt the channel's journalists or make any arrests, the Guild said, adding that the investigation should not become a tool to suppress media rights.

An FIR was registered against four journalists of Republic TV in Mumbai on Friday for allegedly defaming the Mumbai police and trying to cause "disaffection" among members of the police force, the statement read.

Raising concerns about the news channel’s conduct, the Guild drew a reference to Mumbai High Court’s observation that Republic was encroaching into the police’s domain in the name of investigative journalism. 

(With PTI Inputs)



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