Threats make journalists practise self-censorship: Himal Magazine Editor
Self-censorship merits more discussion because the ‘volume of timidity is very high in journalism,’ Editor and Publisher of the Nepal-based Himal Southasian magazine, Kanak Mani Dixit said.
Addressing the Press Club on Thursday at the Sri Lanka Press Institute on the topic ‘Media Freedom in South Asia,’ Mr. Dixit said, “We talk about media suppression but I believe that self-censorship deserves discussion because the volume of timidity is very high in journalism. The journalists lack courage when they get intimidated and go into the cocoon of self-censorship.”
Mr. Dixit skimmed through media freedom in all South Asian countries and arrived at the conclusion that media suppression in this country is high when compared with other Asian countries, according to the official figures of the Press Freedom Index.
Sri Lanka stands 163rd among all countries. When compared to the other South Asian countries this country is way down in the table, he said.“Intimidating the journalist fraternity by killing them reaches its peak. All the South Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Nepal witness these grave crimes,” he said.
Mr. Dixit said self-censorship also takes place due to popular religious beliefs and reasons based on faith. “This causes a media person to impose self-censorship on himself to forestall a threat from the demagogue or from non-state actors, he stated.
He said journalists go through the phase of self-censorship whenever they are called anti-nationalistic, as they would not prefer to be labeled as such by the public at large, he added.
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