It stated: “No democracy anywhere in the world is fighting the pandemic by gagging its media,” says an official statement of The Editors Guild of India (EGI). Blaming the media at this point can only undermine the current work being done by it under trying circumstances.”
The Supreme Court on 31 March asked all media houses to refer and publish the official version of coronavirus developments rather than creating a panic-like situation in the country. The government also came up with an official portal within 24 hours to disseminate corona-related news and developments.
The SC said: “We do not intend to interfere with the free discussion about the pandemic, but direct the media refer to and publish the official version about the developments.”
The Guild said the government’s statement in the Supreme Court that media causing panic among migrant workers leading to their mass movement is ‘gratuitous and unnecessary’.
It says, “Blaming the media for mass migration of workers will be counterproductive. And, such actions would be tantamount to disabling the messenger. The guild’s attention has also been drawn to the lodging of a first information report against the editor-in-chief of the website The Wire. Police action in the form of an FIR is an overreaction and act of intimidation.”