Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A day after Arvind Kejriwal alleged a nexus between media organizations and some industralists, the Editors Guild of India issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief for making unsubstantiated statements against the fourth estate.
The EGI said, “It is ironic that those figures who built their reputations through media are now turning against it."
"It is equally disquieting to find Arvind Kejriwal attributing corrupt motives to the media that were critical of him and charging media with being pressured into ignoring him without coming up with specific details or material to substantiate such charges," the notice added.
"Ironically, leaders who built up reputations and support by engaging the public through the media are now turning on the very media when they come under critical scrutiny," it said.
Kejriwal, former Delhi chief minister, had targeted the media on Sunday during a rally in Rohtak in Haryana.
The EGI also hit out at former Army chief Gen VK Singh. The Guild said it is "distressing" to find a person like Gen VK Singh using the term "presstitutes" to describe journalists who wrote a story on the movement of Army units causing concern to the government.
"The tendency to attack or abuse the media is not restricted to the newer players and leaders of established parties are not immune to it either," the Guild said.
The Guild appealed to political leaders and public figures not to resort to "vague, unsubstantiated charges of corrupt motives and abuses when refuting, questioning or criticising the media and keep the public discourse civil and within reasonsable bounds."
The Editors Guild said the media that question and criticize political leaders and indeed every section of society should be open to criticism, even if it is harsh, of its functioning and to its flaws being exposed.
"The problem arises, however, when abuse and vague, unsubstantiated accusations of corrupt motives take the place of reasoned refutation and debate," it said.
"An additional danger is that some of the followers could take their cue from the statements of leaders and may not stop with verbal attacks," the Guild statement added, while noting that both print and television journalists have already been subject to physical violence by political party workers
(With PTI inputs)