GUWAHATI, Jan 05: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing serious concern over repeated attacks on working journalists across India, insisted on honoring media wisdom by both media and non-media entities. The scribe’s body reiterated that as the journalists enjoy the right to ask questions for information, the others should have the opportunity to criticize the media persons as well. It may be noted that following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s long interview by Smita Prakash, editor of Reuters’ partner Asian News International (ANI), which was subsequently telecast by various news channels on 1 January 2019, criticisms erupted against the interviewer that she left many hard issues from discussing. Even the Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi termed the ANI interviewer as a pliable journalist while addressing a press conference in the national capital, which was strongly denounced by the Editors Guild of India over the use of word like pliable by the law maker.
“We believe journalists should claim no immunity from healthy and civilized criticism. At the same time, labeling of journalists has emerged as a favorite tactic on the part of the establishment to discredit, delegitimize and intimidate them,” said a statement of Editors Guild. Various other journalist associations came out with strong words against the Congress president for his remark against the ANI editor as perhaps ‘she conducted an interview with a rival political leader’. It’s unwarranted and unbecoming of a senior leader of a national political party, they asserted. “JFA argues that journalists should not bother about critical comments from the politicians (or anybody),” said a statement issued today JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that ‘it always believes in continue working with a clear mission to safeguard the interest of the nation in particular and the human race in general’.