Editors Guild 'concerned' about farmers' news coverage

Don't label protesting farmers as 'Khalistanis', 'anti-nationals': Editors Guild to media houses

It advised the media organisations to "display fairness, objectivity, and balance" in reporting the farmers’ protests

The Editors Guild of India on Friday asked the media not to label farmers against the Centre on three contentious farm laws as 'Khalistanis' and anti-nationals, saying the fourth estate should not be complicit to any narrative that derogates dissent.

It issued an advisory to the media against the backdrop of a section seeking to depict the protesters, largely Sikhs from Punjab, as Khalistanis, who are separatists, and anti-nationals and some media, including news channels, started parroting this.

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The Editors Guild said that it was "concerned" about the news coverage of the protests at the Delhi borders "wherein certain sections of the media have been labelling them as 'Khalistanis', 'anti-nationals', and other such terms to delegitimise the protests without any evidence or proof".

"This goes against the tenets of responsible and ethical journalism. Such actions compromise the credibility of the media," the advisory said.

It advised the media organisations to "display fairness, objectivity, and balance" in reporting the farmers’ protests, "without displaying partisanship against those who are exercising their constitutional rights to express themselves".

"Media shouldn’t be complicit to any narrative that derogates dissent and stereotypes protestors based on their attire and ethnicity," it said.