Press freedom attracts intimidation, timidity, self-censorship -
Journalists must be introspective to make sure they have done
everything on their part before blaming others over press freedom,
Senior Nepali journalist and publisher of Himal Khabarpatrika a
fortnightly, and editor, Himal Southasian, a monthly publication, Kanak
Mani Dixit said.
He was delivering a special guest lecture on Media Freedom in South
Asia in the Light of Self Censorship at the Sri Lanka Press Institute
organized by the SLPI Press Club yesterday.
He said in his address: "Journalists must look at themselves in the
mirror and decide whether they have done their role properly to be
worthy of being called journalists.
"The larger arena where the public do not get the journalism they
deserve is through self censorship.
"The issue of self censorship, which does a greater harm, has not
been discussed much as obvious issues of attacks on press freedom.
"When one lacks the courage, rigour or self confidence to challenge
the authority, or when one keeps to the easy path of pointing the finger
at the demagogue and going silent, there I believe occurs self
"The volume of timidity among journalists, their support group and
civil society commentators is high, and the threat of the demagogue,
populism and in-house problems within media houses have contributed
towards the timidity among journalists.
"No country is exemplary, on the other extreme when talking of press
freedom everywhere there is intimidation, timidity and self censorship.
"It is difficult for people to go against the flow. The issue of self
censorship affects strongly when it comes to vernacular and local level
journalism" Dixit said. Senior journalists and invitees participated.