A journalist of a well-known portal shared his ordeal on his timeline that has literally gone viral. The Quint for which the reporter works carried a report headlined: “Delhi Cop Repeatedly Slaps Quint Journalist, DCP Apologises.”
Meghnad Bose wrote more than 20 hours ago on his timeline: “My colleague Aaqib Raza Khan and I are reporters at The Quint. We were near Gate No. 8 of Jamia Millia Islamia, outside the campus, doing a Facebook live for The Quint…
“Around 18 minutes into the live, the cops asked us to move from one side of the gate to another, pushing us in the required direction. After that, some cops started pushing us towards the gate, asking us to continue what we were doing inside the campus. The Jamia guards didn’t allow us to enter however, pushing us outside the gate.”
It was during this period that the incedenr took place with the journalist.
The incident highlights the risk that reporters of portals face while covering incidents independently, said a journalist, adding that though digital platform is expanding with news being read on mobile there still is legitimacy problem to reporters covering several beats.
Moreover, there are some who feel that reporters should be careful while reporting events and carry on press badge and should only turn up with invite or should take permission with authorities in advance so as to avoid any trouble.
On August 29, 2016 Indian Express carried AP report headlined: “India failing to protect its journalists: Watchdog.”
“No government in India has been an ardent champion of press freedom,” the report said. “Small-town journalists, even if a handful work for big media, will often find themselves alone and abandoned when trouble strikes.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists counted 27 journalists killed for their work since 1992. It pointed out that most at risk are small-town journalists investigating corruption, rather than journalists in big cities like New Delhi or Mumbai.
Mumbai-based editor Geeta Seshu of the media-themed website The Hoot said: “I can think of several cases where the police’s first response to a threat, attack or killing of a journalist was to claim that the victim was not a journalist, or that the attack was not work-related.”