Is protecting a rape victim not necessary anymore? Why is the mainstream media publishing the photo of the kathua rape victim without blurring it? why #JusticeForAsifa is trending on social media? All these questions struck me when I saw the kathua rape victim’s image on social media sites.
Even the mainstream media published the girl’s photo after it became available on social media. The quality of news coverage with emphasis on rape is degrading. One of the main reasons behind this can be the rise in technology and the excessive use of social media where users willingly or unwillingly violate other’s right to privacy. This in particular affects the quality of news coverage.
The media is responsible for imparting knowledge, information and plays a vital role in shaping public opinion, without the freedom to report and discuss matters of public interest, it would be unable to play its crucial role of ‘watchdog’. But at the same time, it is important to maintain the balance between ‘freedom of speech & expression’ and Right to privacy’ & the need for regulation of the media.
Publishing the name or details of a rape victim is against the ethics of journalism and the law clearly states that the publisher can be imprisoned or fined under the Indian Penal Code Section 228-A (Disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences, etc) sub sections – 376, 376A, 376B, 376C and 376D.
The Kathua Case
Eight-year-old girl was kidnapped from the woods while she was grazing horses and raped by six men, who held her in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district of Jammu & Kashmir for a week in January, was kept sedated and raped once again before killing her. This was all a part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, reveals the charge-sheet.
Source : Outlook India