Attacks on media on rise in Orissa: Report

July 24th, 2010 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The intimidation of journalists in the form of physical attacks, threats and initiation of legal proceedings against them is increasing in Orissa, according to a new report.
The report from the Free Speech Hub of the journalism portal www.hoot.org says that there have been 12 physical attacks on reporters, stringers or camerapersons this year, and six cases of threat and intimidation, up from three attacks in 2009.

“Between 2004 and 2009, four cases of sedition were filed against stringers or reporters and a writer,” the report said.

It said that the attacks took place “either in retaliation for reports written or while the media persons were on reporting assignments”.

The perpetrators of violence against media were politicians, security forces and in many cases even village heads and students.

“In three cases (of the cases) the police were present but chose not to act. Cases filed have not made much headway,” the report said.

“The attacks on journalists are inextricably linked to the changing equation between the state and civil society, brought about by the triumvirate of aggressive industrialisation, political interests and competitive media houses,” it observed.

The report alleged that the “state government actively supports the corporations branding the critical media as Maoists, anti-national or seditious, or plays the role of a spectator.

The report listing the case studies of media attacks and the functioning of the media has been compiled by Free Speech Hub Coordinator Geeta Seshu during her visits to Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, and Jajpur (Kalinganagar).

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