Media Policy 2020: Mocking Freedom of Speech and Expression in Jammu and Kashmir

Government interference and regulation of media hampers the effective functioning of any democracy. As the fourth pillar of democracy, its independence is crucial for robust governance. The increased attacks and arrests of journalists have rang alarm bells across the country. The situation is even more so intensified in the highly militarised and sensitive area of Jammu and Kashmir, where curb on freedom of press distorts ground reality and national narrative of the state. MISBAH RESHI critically examines the New Media Policy ofthe state in prevailing situation of freedom of press in Jammu and Kashmir.


Ayear after Article 370 was unilaterally amended, Free Press Kashmir, an online news portal, uploaded a unique editorial piece. The entirety of the editorial page was a blacked-out document with only few words visible, sending a clear message: press freedom in Kashmir was under serious threat.

On June 2, the Jammu and Kashmir administration approved a new media policy titled ‘Media Policy 2020’ in order to “ensure a synchronized and effective use of all forms of media to build public trust, foster a genuinely positive image of the Government based on performance and strengthen the relationship with key stakeholders.”

Immediately after its release, journalists and media houses in Kashmir took to various platforms expressing their anger at the new media policy.


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