Members of several journalist organisations in New Delhi, including Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC), Press Club of India (PCI), DIGIPUB and Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) jointly launched the ‘CPJ- TrustLaw Know Your Rights Legal Guide for Journalists in India' at the Press Club of India premises on Saturday.
The practical guide, available in English and Hindi, equips journalists with a working understanding of the rights, remedies, and protection measures that are available under Indian law, stated a release.
The guide provides information on rights of a journalist in India and provides answers on how journalists can obtain redress when faced with criminal action, it mentioned. The guide provides steps a journalist can follow in case of a SLAPP suit and tells how a journalist can obtain redress when faced with online abuse, etc., it stated.
Welcoming the release of the guide, Press Club of India president Umakant Lakhera said that Journalism and freedom of speech are under peril, it mentioned. He called upon the journalists to stand against any regime that suppresses the voices of journalists and their fundamental rights, it added.
On the occasion, TRF's legal programme manager for Asia Joanita Britto Menon expressed that protecting the freedom of the press is crucial at a time when misinformation is plaguing society. She asserted the need to develop more tools and resources that can be used to defend media freedom.
The Know Your Rights Guide for Journalists in India by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is a step in that direction. Thomson Reuters Foundation and TrustLaw look forward to supporting more initiatives like this, she said.
It continued that CPJ's India Representative Kunal Majumder expressed hope that with growing legal challenges to press freedom in India, the guide will be useful to journalists to know about their legal rights. He said that the Know Your Rights Guide for Journalists in India is not a substitute for proper legal advice, however, it can help develop basic legal literacy among journalists, it added.
CPJ has documented that over 35 Indian journalists have been imprisoned, and 31 have been killed since 2010, and it demonstrates the increasing need for journalists to understand their legal rights, it stated.
CPJ has been provided free legal support by the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global pro bono service, law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co through TrustLaw to develop this resource for journalists in India, it added.