Redefining journalism is an effort by totalitarian, dictatorial regimes not democracies: KEG to NIA

Srinagar: The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) on Tuesday while reacting to the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) chargesheet against photo journalist Kamran Yousuf, said that ‘redefining’ journalism is an effort of ‘dictatorial regimes’.

The guild has demanded Yousuf’s early release.

NIA in their chargesheet against Yousuf had said that he is not a ‘real journalist’ as he has covered only ‘anti-national’ activities.

While listing the ‘moral duties’ of a journalist, the NIA has observed in the chargesheet, “Had he been a real journalist/stringer by profession, he may have performed one of the moral duty of a journalist which is to cover the activities and happening (good or bad) in his jurisdiction.”

The Guild in it’s statement said, “If cops are supposed to define the roles and responsibilities of the journalists, which manage the fourth pillar of democracy, the universities that train thousands of journalists in a year across India must be locked.”

ALSO READGlobal journalists’ bodies back Yousuf, says NIA has no business defining what ‘real journalists’ should cover

The statement added, “Re-defining journalism is usually been seen as an effort by totalitarian and dictatorial regimes and not democracies.”

KEG reiterated its stand on Kamran Yousuf case that he has been a news photographer who was freelancing with various media outlets.

ALSO READ: #JournalismIsNotACrime: Why Kamran Yousuf is not Paul Comiti

The editors sought his early release and have “continuously insisted that Yousuf requires a fair trial.”

“It has been a long time since Yousuf’s arrest that the investigators have probed almost all angles of his supposed involvement. So far, nothing has been proved as the charge sheet suggests, ” the Guild statement said while adding,”it is high time that Yousuf is permitted to move out of jail and resume his routine and help his mother, the only relation he has, in surviving honourably.”

The statement stressed that his release will contribute to the ‘strengthening of democracy and right to free speech.’

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