Kashmir: Leading papers run front pages blank to protest against govt’s action on media

Srinagar: As a mark of protest against the “unexplained denial” of advertisements to two newspapers by the Jammu and Kashmir government, most of the leading newspapers in the valley printed their front pages in blank on Sunday.

The state government had stopped giving advertisements to two major local dailies – Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader claimed the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG).

The Editors Guild in its statement said: “With utmost regret, Kashmir Editors Guild wishes to inform that the Jammu and Kashmir government has stopped state government advertisements to two major daily newspapers – Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.”

The guild added that the decision was neither conveyed formally nor was any reason detailed to the respective organisations.

Both English and Urdu newspaper printed a blank front page on Sunday as a mark of protest. The newspapers front pages only carried a message from the KEG saying “in protest against unexplained denial of government advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.”

The government decision has the potential of impacting the state and the status of journalism in Kashmir, said Bashir Manzar, general secretary KEG and editor of Daily Kashmir Images.

He further added that “We consider the decision against democracy and in violation of the free media that is guaranteed by the constitution.”