On the occasion of 'World Press Freedom Day' on May 3, The Hoot.org has compiled a list to highlight the vulnerability of working journalists in India, particularly those who work at the district level.
Stating that three states - Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have been particularly bad for press freedom, as defamation cases and assaults on journalists are frequent, it goes on to highlight more individual cases of harassment on journalists.
Studying the number of threats to press freedom in the country between January and April 2016, the website said that there were at least 10 defamation cases, two legal notices, six cases of uncalled police action, one death, four legal actions, 26 attacks and six death threats.
"The greater vulnerability is for journalists in districts and small towns. One reason for this that many of them are now using RTI to investigate local scams and they pose a threat to the powerful in government and in politics...There is no pressure group at the national level which maintains pressure on the central and state governments in cases regarding journalists. The Editors Guild and other bodies are not really proactive in this regard. The Press Council publishes reports, but they have no impact," Sevanti Ninan, Editor, The Hoot told IANS.
Amnesty International has also called for the release of four journalists who have been arrested in Chhattisgarh for writing against the Raman Singh government. The four journalists, Santosh Yadav, Somaru Nag, Prabhat Singh and Deepak Jaiswal, have been in police custody since July 2015.