‘Important to know how to cover news’

‘Important to know how to cover news’

Sanjoy Hazarika

While freedom of the press is important, media personnel should follow a set of principles, Sanjoy Hazarika, Director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), said.

Speaking about ‘Rights of Media: Increasing pressure on free media’ on Thursday, he said four journalists had been killed in the past four years. While some were shot dead, others were kidnapped and killed.

Calling the deceased journalists martyrs he said they were exercising their duty under Article 19 that ensures freedom of expression.

India ranks 140 of the 180 countries listed in the World Press Freedom Index. The top two countries are Norway and Finland while India is ranked lower than the UAE and

Hazarika pointed out that most organisations have human rights policies for salaries and leave. But they should have one for internal governance and women’s security also. Due to the lack of safety in workspaces, there is a drop in the number of working women over the past 10 years.

Similarly, there should also be an external policy for coverage. Apart from knowing what to cover and not, it is important to know how to cover an issue, he said adding that the civil society should look at media as its partner in disseminating information and not as its consumer.

Instead of covering news, media men are becoming the news. Truth is a powerful tool and media should be clear on it. The media has a duty to reflect facts in all diversity.