Expressing concern over the growing attacks on the media by political leaders and public figures, President of Editors Guild of India N. Ravi said political leaders should be open criticism to their functioning and flaws being exposed, and appealed that public figures should not to resort to vague and unsubstantiated charges of corrupt motives and abuses towards the media when refuting.
"The Editors Guild of India notes with concern the growing attacks and unsubstantiated charges levelled against the media by political leaders and public figures dissatisfied with the coverage of their activities or with criticism from the media," Ravi was stated in a statement issued.
"It is distressing to find a person like Gen. V. K Singh using the term 'presstitutes' to describe journalists who wrote a story on the movement of army units causing concern to the government, a statement unbecoming of a former chief of the Indian army," he was stated in the statement.
He said it is equally disquieting to find Arvind Kejriwal attributing corrupt motives to the media that were critical of him and charging media with being pressured into ignoring him without coming up with specific details or material to substantiate such charges.
He asserted that the tendency to attack or abuse the media is not restricted to the newer players, and leaders of established parties are not immune to it either.
"Ironically, leaders who built up reputations and support by engaging the public through the media are now turning on the very media when they come under critical scrutiny," he added.
He argued that the media that question and criticise political leaders and indeed every section of society should of course be open to criticism, even if it is harsh, of its functioning and to its flaws being exposed.
"The problem arises, however, when abuse and vague, unsubstantiated accusations of corrupt motives take the place of reasoned refutation and debate. An additional danger is that some of the followers could take their cue from the statements of leaders and may not stop with verbal attacks. Both print and television journalists have been subject to physical violence as well by political party workers," he added.
He appealed to political leaders and public figures not to resort to vague, unsubstantiated charges of corrupt motives and abuses when refuting, questioning or criticizing the media, and keep the public discourse civil and within reasonable bounds.