NEW DELHI: The Editors Guild of India said on Friday it is “outraged” by suggestions from some influential sections within the media space that the “right of expression” should be suspended in light of the “serious trouble” India is in.
Claims that the extent of the health crisis should not be reported in the name of free expression drew a sharp criticism from the EGI, which condemned all such suggestions, referred to such statements as casual and irresponsible, and said that the prevailing health emergency was a time that demanded greater accountability from the authorities for the “gross mishandling of this monumental health crisis”.
“EGI sees these voices as an attempt to deflect attention from the objective and bold reporting by intrepid journalists, who, unmindful of their personal safety, are bringing to the fore harsh facts about the spread of the pandemic and its mismanagement by the authorities,” the EGI statement said.
The Editors body also said that in the absence of these media reports, possible only in a constitutional democracy that safeguards free speech, the country and the world will not get a true picture of the enormity of the crisis. “Even the courts would not have taken cognisance of the threat to lives of patients due to scarcity of oxygen and medicines,” EGI said, demanding that the government should “regularly and truthfully” share data about the pandemic and its on-going response to it with the media and people at large.