Kashmir Scribes Take To Streets

12 July 2014
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: A group of Kashmiri media persons, mostly from electronic media, also staged a token demonstration seeking global intervention to stop Israeli military raids into Palestinian territories. The event appeared to reinvent, albeit in a much humbler way, the inward-looking journalistic traditions of Kashmir. Most of the newspaper editors, working journalists and reporters here have all along been charting a neutral course the reasons for which are aplenty. But the young boys from some regional newspapers, camerapersons from the banned cable news channels and a handful of junior scribes on Friday gathered at Press Enclave to mark a break with the past traditions. They demanded an end to Israeli raids. The journalists were carrying placards reading 'Please. Humanity Stop Killings', Pray for Gaza for the sake of Humanity' and 'Stop innocent killings'. The journalists urged upon OIC, UN and Saudi Arabia to raise voice and play their role to stop what they described as the massacre of innocents. Journalists also appealed Muslims worldwide to pray for the Gaza. Media watchers here say the new breed of journalists bears sparks of activism. 'They are young and unlike their seniors have tremendous access to the technology. They know how journalists function in Egypt, Syria or for that matter in Pakistan. The model of journalism that keeps you out of the story no longer appeals them. They want to be in the story while they report because they are increasingly feeling that they are not just writing a story but are themselves a part of the story in Kashmir,' says Javed Naqib, an avid media watcher. Media practitioners in Kashmir can be divided into various compartments. There are 'influential' newspaper owners, government employees who are part-time subeditors, NGO men who like to wear the journalistic identity. There is a sizeable chunk of those qualified, war-hardened television and print journalists who work for most of the Indian and International news outlets. No body represents Kashmiri journalists as a whole. There are various clusters with various motivations. Kashmir Press Association, a group of newspaper editors, has been active since 2010. But it does not seem to have inspired the youngsters, who don't pursue to set up offices and assets but want to engage with the story. 'One can attribute motives to any public action here. But I believe all of them got emotional by the images pouring in form Palestine. It was pure solidarity event,' said a young journalist who also joined the protesting scribes.