In Bengal it seems that nothing has changed. Recently, journalists of Star Ananda and Ananda Bazar Patrika the clearly the market leaders in news, were severely beaten by unruly mob. Most of them were TMC supporters. According to media reports,a young Television journalist was chased, thrown to the ground and thrashed by party sympathizers when he went to Jadavpur in South Calcutta to cover a story . Later, the chief minister of Bengal described it as staged incident. During the 34 years of Left Front rule in Bengal, there were also several attacks on journalists.Scribes were beaten up at Singur and Nandigram when they went there to cover anti forceful land acquisition movement.
In Bengal, media is divided into rival camps. Local media in Bengal particularly those who are not market leaders in news or new entrants in the market try to keep ‘didi’ (Mamata Banarjee) in good humor.Even some senior journalist behave like party spokes person.
According to International News Safety Institute,while covering demonstrations or civil disorder, please remember:
Don’t go alone. Get someone to watch your back if you’re shooting pictures.
As soon as you arrive, spot escape routes and look for landmarks like a tall building or lamppost. It’s easy to get disoriented in a crowd.
Stay on the edge and do not get caught between police and protestors.
Crowds have a life of their own. Stay aware of the prevailing mood.
Alert your editors if the scene turns angry.
Stay away from aggressive people. They may provoke a violent response.
If planning to move, seek advice from people who have just come from the direction you’re heading.
Television crews should travel as light as possible. If experiencing aggression, leave the tripod behind so that you can run fast.
Pic Courtesy: Star Ananda