PUCL Karnataka Towards civil liberties and human rights for all in Karnataka

Human Rights, Democracy and Media : Challenges in Contemporary Times

12.20.2010 · Posted in Human Rights, Meetings and Events, Report

Human Rights’ Day 2010 was observed by the PUCL, Bangalore chapter with a discussion meeting on “Human Rights, Democracy and Media : Challenges in Contemporary Times”. We had three principal speakers to present the primary topic followed by a discussion session.

Isaac Arul Selva, Editor, Slum Jagatthu, spoke of the great caste bias in the media that excluded lower castes both in journalists
employed and also the issues related; news items rarely carried news of the country’s lower castes populations. He spoke of the strong caste/class association that marginalised visibility for the most needy sections of society – unless these issues were ‘sensationalist’ in nature.

Siddharth Narain is a legal researcher at the Alternative Law Forum. He began with the recent police charges against KK Shahina,  and went on to cover the history and context of ‘sedition’ as defined legally. A very readable version of his series covering the ‘Sedition’ can be found at

Last speaker of the evening was B Parvateesha, a senior correspondent with Lankesh Patrike who spoke on ‘Contemporary Media and Human Rights’. He gave a strong inward looking position on journalism, especially on marginalised issues. He stressed that a pre-requisite to enlightened journalism was enlightened readership; however most middle class readership’s interest lay with media reports that are both superficial and sensational in nature.

We had a fairly strong participation from Samvada’s student community, who posed a lot of questions, doubts; the audience discussion lasted for another hour. Prof. H. Mansur, Founder, PUCL-Karnataka concluded the meeting with final comments.

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