May 6, 2022
The CPI (M) today expressed concern over India’s ranking in World Press Freedom Index falling from 142nd place in 2021 to 150th this year and said every attack on press freedom must be opposed and resisted by all democratic forces.
In an editorial in its journal People’s Democracy, the party said “the defence of media freedom and the rights of journalists must become part of the struggle to defend democracy and constitutional rights.”
According to the Reporters without Borders, which published the World Press Freedom Index, press freedom in India is in crisis because of the “violence against journalists, politically partisan media and the concentration of media ownership,” the editorial said.
According to the CPI (M) journal, “those journalists and media who seek to conduct fair and objective reporting and maintain editorial independence, face heavy odds with the might of the State ranged against them.”
“The only avenue of judicial intervention to protect the rights of the media has also been limited,” the party said.
The editorial said the “major shift in the mainstream media reflects the corporate-Hindutva nexus which has been forged. This is having a deleterious impact on the mass media, particularly the Hindi media.”
According to the CPI (M) editorial “What is being witnessed is the travesty of the role the media should play in a democracy. Apart from being sycophants for the regime, a substantial section of the media have become the purveyors of incendiary communal propaganda.”
“The manner in which some of the reporters of the Hindi news channels egged on the bulldozer demolition in Jahangirpuri is just one instance,” the editorial said.