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EDITORS GUILD OF INDIA









Published by: Gautham Krishna


Background- Arnab Goswami:

The institutor of Republic Television, Arnab Goswami, announced his resignation from the Editors Guild of India accusing the guild as hypocrites concerning the Palghar incident wherein Hindus were mob lynched.[1] He was also agitated by the organisations’ silence on much fake news that was being circulated. The Editors guild was protecting and securing the Wire’s position when an FIR was charged against them due to the circulation of constant fake news. Many of the publications failed to showcase ethical journalism pertaining to the mob lynching incident as they were all political bias relating to the guild and refused to divulge the identities of the Hindu victims and the motive behind the incident.


The main allegation put forth by Arnab is that the Editors guild was not willing to take a stance on sham news that demoralizes the status of our country.[2] Hoax news such as Hindus and Muslims are allocated separate beds in a hospital in Gujarat were being freely circulated without any hindrance and the Editors guild did not take a stance. All these collective instances led Arnab Goswami to resign from the organization on live TV.

Editor- Responsibilities:

An editor is a position or rather a responsibility of a person concerning what is published as news in a publication. Editors deal with each and every news in a publication deciding various articles, photographs to be included in the publication.[3] They are also responsible for the allocation of works or stories to reporters and decide the crucial and priority news to be published. One of the imperative responsibility of an editor is to validate the news gathered by the reporters and ascertain the ethical issues in such news. Every editorial has its creditworthiness for the contribution of a news publication and it is the ultimate responsibility of an editor to protect and preserve such goodwill.


As editors vary form news publication to manuscripts publications, their roles vary in accordance to their organisation. An editor of article publication has the role or rather the duty to proofread the articles and also to check and verify the grammar of the article. Such editors also perform the duty of checking plagiarism of the article to ensure that the article is not published elsewhere.

Editors Guild- Objectives:

The organisation of Editors Guild was set up in 1978 and its foundation was based on two premises, to protect press freedom in our country and to elevate the standards of editorial supervision of magazines and newspaper publication.[4] The founding editors ascertained the need and the existence of such an organisation to evaluate and voice-over issues pertaining to the exploitation of press freedom with the executive and the parliament. The guild also sought to restore and conserve press freedom that had been taken away with the intervention of numerous constitutional amendments. The result of the formation of this guild has resulted in the reinstatement of the Feroze Gandhi Act. The Editors Guild strives to ensure that the menaces to freedom of press are eliminated and proved its importance during the period when draconian defamation laws were enacted by the government of Tamilnadu and Bihar. The guild guided nationwide protests against Anti-Defamation laws which was proposed by the central government that made the executive suspend their plan.


The functions of the guild are not restricted only to leading protests or ensuring freedom of the press but it also extends to ensuring elevated standards for editors of magazines and newspaper publication. The guild also acts as a redressal body for the editors for actions of harassments of those in authority and reaches out to them to provide a feasible solution and arrangement. The Editors Guild has laid down a code of conduct for the governance and functioning of editors and editorials across the country.

Editors Guild- Allegations:

Arnab Goswami had alleged that the president of the guild, Shekar Gupta, had compromised India’s journalism. The allegation was based on the premise of the lynching of two Hindu sadhus and the following silence of the guild concerning this issue. Arnab also accused the guild to have lost its ‘remaining credibility’ due to the president’s silence on this erupting issue. He further accused the guild to be a self-serving organisation which only gave voice to matters that would benefit their personal and political interest.[5] Shekar Gupta, the president of the Editors Guild, has been compromising editorial ethics and refused to provide a stance on the pivotal issue such as the mob lynching. This incident agitated Arnab to question the credibility of the guild led by Shekar Gupta who prioritizes personal and beneficial interests by compromising the editorial ethics on which the guild aims to preserve.

News Broadcasters Association:

The News Broadcasters Association was incorporated in 2007 that embodies current affairs broadcasters and the private television news. This association is incorporated as the combined voice of news broadcasters in India. It is a self-funding private organisation that operates and functions in the interests of private news broadcasters in the country. The objective of this organisation is to foster reliable standards, practices and ethics in the broadcasting of news and to protect the interests of private broadcasters in issues pertaining to the publication of news.[6] This association is perceived as a unified credible voice advanced by its members before the government. This organisation also seeks to govern the private broadcasters and provide them with guidelines to demonstrate their commitment towards the ethical publication of news.


News Broadcasters Federation unanimously elected Arnab Goswami as the president of the governing board. This federation comprises of 78 news broadcasters from 25 states varying in 14 regional languages.[7] This organisation represents and uplifts the interests of private broadcasters pertaining to the broadcasting industry. Arnab Goswami contended that this federation would be a self-regulatory organisation and that it would give rise to new broadcasting guidelines and address any violation from within the federation. This federation was incorporated with transparent and flexible directions and guidelines in July 2019 comprising 50 broadcasters. The ultimate purpose of this federation is to provide a transparent outlook of its operations and functions to the public and to voice out on matters that are crucial to the public’s perspective.

Conclusion:

Reporters without Borders is a global organisation that compiles and publishes the press freedom index of over 180 countries across the world. India has dropped two ranks in the global press freedom index from 140 in 2019 to secure a rank of 142 as of 2020.[8] The imperative reason that contributed to the decrease in the press freedom index of India is due to the state of affairs of Kashmir. The federal government resorted to shutting down of internet and cellular connections for several months in Kashmir. This situation made it difficult for journalists to cover news in Kashmir as a result of restricting their freedom of movement whereby affecting the nation’s press freedom index.

Footnotes:

[1] https://www.siasat.com/arnab-goswami-resigns-editors-guild-india-live-show-1877290/. [2] https://www.exchange4media.com/media-tv-news/why-arnab-goswami-resigned-from-the-editors-guild-of-india-104117.html. [3]https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/ztfnmnb/revision/1#:~:text=An%20editor%20is%20the%20'boss,of%20all%20the%20newspaper%20staff.&text=They%20will%20assign%20stories%20to,and%20importance%20of%20news%20articles. [4] https://editorsguild.in/about-us/. [5] https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/arnab-goswami-quits-editors-guild-of-india-blames-shekhar-gupta-for-compromising-on-editorial-ethics. [6] http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/. [7] https://scroll.in/latest/946238/news-broadcasters-federation-elects-arnab-goswami-as-governing-board-president. [8] https://rsf.org/en/india.


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