Bangalore International Centre had organised the Discussion of the book “Sue the Messenger” authored by Mr. Subir Ghosh with Mr. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta on Friday, 22nd July, 2016 at 6.30 PM at its auditorium. Ms. Keya Acharya was in discussion with the authors. The event was chaired and moderated by Dr. Aditya Sondhi.
At a time when space for quality journalism seems to be shrinking, there are journalists who still stick to their jobs by reporting and commenting on every development that undermines democracy and the rule of law. Today, attacks on investigative journalism come from all quarters and range from physical assaults to arm-twisting through legal means.
In the last few years, there has been a rising trend of coercing journalists into silence through measures that are known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, SLAPPs for short. The authors narrated that 'Sue the Messenger' is a collection of stories about stories -- stories that run foul of corporate entities and conglomerates, which result in SLAPPs. By their very nature, SLAPPs are meant to undermine democracy. This is the concern that 'Sue the Messenger' wishes to address.
Dr. Aditya Sondhi in his observations pointed out that if the journalists are absolutely sure about their facts, they need not be perturbed or bullied by SLAPPS. He did concede however that if theyu do not receive full support from their printers and publishers, there could be periods of harassment for the journalists concerned.
The audience participated in the Q & A session with much enthusiasm.