Press Freedom Under Threat In India, 108 Journalist And 13 Media Houses Targeted In 2021
The situation of press freedom and safety of journalists continues to be a major concern in India, which has seen a steady decline in its level of media independence in recent years. With the Centre’s banning of the telecast of Media One, the focus has once again on the relationship between government and media.
As the so-called ‘mainstream media’ postures itself close to the government, media houses and individual journalists are facing intimidation, harassment, and even lethal threats from state actors and vigilante elements.
A report by a Delhi-based civil society group Rights And Risks Analysis Group titled ‘press Freedom in India- 2021’ documents cases of journalists and media houses facing legal action and extra-legal threats such an assaults and killings.
It claims that 108 journalists and 13 media houses were targeted in India in 2021. According to the report, 6 journalists were killed (including 1 ‘property dispute’) and at least 12 were attacked by mobs. Similarly, at least 24 journalists also reported being harassed or beaten by police and security forces.
J&K, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh top four in the list of states where media freedom is the most restricted.