What Lutyens’ Delhi journalists can learn from their Chennai counterparts

It’s heartening to note that journalists in Chennai boycotted a press meet to be addressed by controversial Dalit leader and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani after he refused to talk in the presence of the representative of an English news channel.

Media reports say that Mevani asked the reporter of Republic TV to remove his mike. He insisted that he won’t talk in the presence of the channel representative since it was “his policy”.

Mevani’s rider has not gone down well with the journalists. Giving a stern message to the legislator, they boycotted the press conference.

Compare this with the behavior of Delhi journalists. When Left student activist Shehla Rashid snubbed a Republic TV journalist and asked him to get out of a protest meet against the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the protest from Delhi journalists was feeble. Ironically, the whole thing was happening at the Press Club of India. The big names of journalism in Lutyens’ Delhi, who always swear by liberalism, chose silence against the rabid show of intolerance by the haughty activist.

Similarly, a few months ago, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked the journalists who gathered to cover an event to “get out” of the room. There was not even a murmur of protest, though Malayala Manorama daily came out with a novel way to protest with all the headlines on its front page on the following day had words “get out”. But Left-liberals who cry for press freedom from their rooftops, chose to ignore the royal snub handed down to their colleagues by the chief minister.

1 COMMENT

  1. JFA appreciates Chennai journalists for their show of solidarity
    Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) appreciates the united strength shown by the Chennai based journalists against a politician’s unprincipled demand and urged the media fraternity of the country to stand behind them.
    It may be noted that Jignesh Mevani, a newly elected legislator from Gujarat in a press meet on Tuesday in Chennai objected the presence of Republic Television reporter and then put condition that even if the reporter stay there, he must not ask questions. Angered with the condition, the television journalists decided to walk out of it as a show of solidarity.
    The young legislator commented that he would not to speak to the Republic, the news channel led by Arnab Goswami as a policy. However, a Times Now reporter Shabbir Ahmed firmly encountered him saying that the legislator must not demand which channel should be there or which not in a press meet.
    “We denounce the mentality of Jignesh Mevani to dictate the media. He must not make choices whether a particular reporter should stay or not in a press meet. For any reason, if he feels being abused by the coverage of a particular media outlet, he can go to the court,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.

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