Modi Govt curbs free media, allege journalists

  New Delhi: The current government is not letting the "alternate media" -- organisations run by 'liberal' media persons -- grow, as they are critical of the establishment and stand by the marginalised, eminent journalists said here on Friday.

Speaking at the Jamia Milia Islamia's event 'Ainaa 2017', themed "The Other Side", veteran journalists spoke about the differences between working for "corporate" media houses and the free media spaces.

Senior journalist and political editor of The Caravan magazine, Hartosh Singh Bal, said: "The alternate media is getting into a resource crunch. This government is not going to allow its sustainability. Neither are the entrepreneurs looking into this sector."

"One cannot be a journalist and work in the corporate or mainstream media, which is a disheartening situation. We all have grown very scared of the word 'liberal'."

Seema Mustafa, founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Citizen, an online news portal, also spoke on the same lines and said journalists of the present times will have to face many challenges.

"Real journalism involves standing up for the marginalised, the victims, and at the same time standing by the Constitution of India. And one has to oppose everything that can come in the way to report them, including the government," Mustafa said.

Addressing scores of journalism students of Jamia Milia, Mustafa asked them to choose between "mainstream media which has power and money, or real journalism - which is facing tough times".

Madhu Trehan, co-founder of digital media portal Newslaundry, also said the present government had been successful in managing the media.

"This government is far more clever in cutting the press, even if you are mildly critical. It is frightening," she said.

The event was part of the annual media festival by the Department of Convergent Journalism in Jamia Milia.

The students also showcased their work on topics they said "the mainstream media generally chooses to ignore".

Documentaries, projects and photographs produced by the students were also shown at the festival.

IANS