About the helpline
The Hoot launches a helpline for all those who work in the media, as well as those who use it and are affected by it.
It will have a two-pronged approach. First, it will respond to media professionals who face intimidation, harassment, threats or assaults in the course of their work. Second, it will respond to complaints from readers, viewers or Internet users. These could relate to the following: the misuse of the media through unethical practices like paid news, blackmail or extortion, the failure of in-house (within media companies) complaints redressal mechanisms, such as the refusal of media houses to publish letters to the editors voicing legitimate grievances against published or broadcast news, or the refusal of television channels to address complaints regarding fairness of treatment, violation of privacy, or defamatory coverage.
*In memory of S P Singh, magazine editor, broadcaster, creator of Aaj Tak on Doordarshan before it became a news channel. He created a popular Hindi idiom for TV news, and was a role model for many younger journalists. He passed away in June 1997. The Hoot has been supported in its early years by the S P Singh Foundation.
Helpline for journalists
The Hoot launches a helpline for media professionals who face any obstruction in the course of their work. As journalists, we are under threat from the state and from vigilante groups or political groups. We are in danger when we seek to investigate and uncover wrong-doings; we face threats, intimidation, attacks, even death for the work we do.
In 2010 alone, there were 37 attacks on journalists including a killing, 14 arrests, detention or charges against journalists and six instances of attacks on writers and civil liberties activists. In 2011, the situation worsened with the killing of three journalists - Umesh Rajput in Chhattisgarh, J Dey in Mumbai and Mohammed Akram in New Delhi. At least 17 others have been attacked in the last six months.
Our freedom to publish or broadcast is further constricted by laws that can restrict and block any electronic communication that has the potential to offend for the flimsiest of reasons. Already, 11 websites have been blocked by the government.
Our helpline is listing below, for the use of journalists who may need them, several contact points for help from legal and human rights workers.
Further, we are providing an email id and telephone no. linked to a computer, where you can record a message in Hindi or English. We will track these messages at regular intervals.
Anyone can make a complaint or register their grievance with the helpline and this will be responded to on a case-by-case basis.
MEDIA REDRESSAL FORUM FOR CITIZENS
This helpline will also respond to complaints from readers, viewers or Internet users on
a) the misuse of the media through unethical practices like paid news, blackmail or extortion;
b) the failure of in-house (within media companies) complaints redressal mechanisms like the refusal of media houses to publish letters to the editors voicing legitimate grievances against published or broadcast news. Or the refusal of television channels to address complaints regarding fairness of treatment, violation of privacy, or defamatory coverage.
As readers and viewers, our trust in the media is severely eroded by corruption within the media, paid news, the business and political interests of media houses or by unscrupulous and unethical practices, including blackmail or extortion. Incorrect reportage, blatant bias or misrepresentation is increasingly affecting the quality of journalism and readers or viewers who seek redressal may not always get justice or a fair hearing from media houses they complain against.
In this situation our helpline will provide a voice and a platform for the registration of complaints to set in motion a process of self-correction. If the complaints are found to have merit they will be forwarded to individuals in the media house concerned, the Editors Guild, the Press Council, of the self regulatory authorities set up by TV channels’ associations.
Please use the email id and phone number provided to register your complaint. Complaints can also be publicized and information about these will be disseminated as widely as possible so that awareness is generated on the issue raised by the complaint.
How it will work
Please record your complaints, and contact nos at this number. It is linked to a computer.
Telephone no. 9560259820
Or write to this Email id : firstname.lastname@example.org using the complaints format given below.