Dear Reader,

The report of a fact-finding mission by the Editors Guild of India to investigate the role of the media in the conflict and violence in Manipur in the past months has been deemed to be “false, fabricated and sponsored” by the state’s police.

Analysing the case, MediaNama points out that, among a battery of charges, the Police have unfortunately chosen to invoke the provisions of Section 66A of the Information and Technology Act, 2000 - a now-defunct provision struck down by the Supreme Court in the Shreya Singhal judgement in 2015. MediaNama also notes that this “Zombie provision”, so comprehensively read down by the apex court, has been used an astonishing 1,307 times since its abrogation more than eight years ago

When it comes to media freedom, two other States - Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka do not cover themselves with glory. Article 14 reports that a circular was issued by the UP government on August 16th, directing officers to fact-check “negative news” that “tarnish the image of the government”. This latest curb on media freedom comes amid a recent history of what is largely seen as arbitrary arrests and filing of cases against journalists at the flimsiest of provocations.

Similarly, in Karnataka, the state government has mooted the setting-up of a ‘fact-checking unit’ to ostensibly “curb fake news”. The News Minute argues that this step is a bad idea as governments, of all hues, are by their very nature primed for “protecting their own interests” and to expect the state to sit impartially in judgment on news and information is a fallacy.

And, far away in Kerala’s Wayanad, houses built for tribal citizens are coming apart in just five years, when they were built to last a generation and more. Keraleeyam Masika journeys to the tribal colonies in the deep interiors of the district, where the mainstream media is coy to tread, and investigates the plight of the Adivasis and the apathy of the government in intervening.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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“Zombie” Section 66A Returns In Fresh FIR Against Editors Guild Of India For Report On Manipur Violence

The Manipur Police has filed cases against four journalists, who did a fact-finding report on the “media reportage” on the ethnic violence in the state. MediaNama argues that this not only impinges on media freedom but also misuses provisions of the law that have been defunct for eight years.

Read Here

In UP, An FIR Citing ‘Negative News’ Reinforces Fears Of Embattled Journalists

Article 14 analyses how journalists are under siege in India’s largest state with incarcerations and cases weaponised to erode media freedom.

Read Here

The problem with govt fact-check units

The Karnataka government’s effort to set up a fact-checking unit in the state is not what the doctor ordered for arresting fake news and disinformation. The News Minute tells us why.

Watch Here

അതിവേഗം തകരുന്ന ആദിവാസി വീടുകൾ

Keraleeyam Masika travels to tribal hamlets in interior Wayanad in Kerala to investigate the already dilapidated state of houses built by the government, even as the residents allege irregularities.

Watch Here

More from the grantees
Rising student suicides in Kota, Rajasthan
In Rajasthan’s Kota, The Probe reports how mental stress continues to take lives of students – who flock to the city to train for the much-vaunted entrance for engineering and medical institutions – with more than two dozen suicides this year alone.
ശമ്പളവും പെന്‍ഷനുമില്ല, പിന്നിയ ജീവിതവുമായ നെയ്ത്തുശാലയിലെ തൊഴിലാളികള്‍
Kerala celebrated Onam last week, but for the handloom weavers employed at the Star Weavers Industrial Co-operative Society in Kozhikode, it was a tale of unpaid wages and hardship. TrueCopy Think reports.
7 करोड़ आदिवासियों की स्क्रीनिंग आख़िर क्यों
Main Bhi Bharat explains India’s ambitious target to eradicate sickle cell disease among the tribal population by 2047, which will require screening of over seven crore people.
Manipur's transgender football team brings healing touch to displaced children
Amidst the tragic violence in Manipur, a trans-gender football team has used the game to impart skills and succour to the children of the displaced in the state. Imphal Free Press brings us the story.

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