On 26 April 2021, The Editors Guild of Indian released the following statement. “The Editors Guild of India is deeply disturbed by reports of inhuman treatment being meted out to the journalist Siddique Kappan, who has been in custody since October 2020, under the draconian UAPA, for trying to report on the rape and death of a Dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. His wife has alleged that her husband has been tied to a bed and is neither able to take food nor access toilet, while undergoing treatment at a Mathura Hospital for Covid-19. This is shocking and should stir the conscience of the nation that a journalist is being treated in this cruel manner and being denied basic rights.
Yogi on ignoring demands for Siddique Kappan’s fair treatment
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ajay Mohan Bisht, (Yogi Adityanath), has been ignoring the demands from his family and the civil society for fair treatment of the journalist. It is further shocking that the Supreme Court of India has yet not intervened in this case to ensure a fair trial of the journalist, even though the Habeas Corpus petition challenging his arrest has been pending before the court for the past six months. All of this goes against the basic canons of a constitutional democracy where independent journalistic enterprises need to be protected rather than repressed.
The Editors Guild of India had written a letter to the Chief Minister of UP in November 2020, highlighting several instances of state persecution and violence against journalists, including that of Kappan. Since then, the situation has only worsened. Recently, the CM threatened to seize the property of anyone who reported on the paucity of oxygen in hospitals in the state. Such declamations have a chilling effect on media freedom, at a time when there is urgent need for objective reporting and accountability on the worsening pandemic.
EGI demands that Siddique Kappan be given proper medical treatment at the earliest and that he be treated with dignity. The Guild also urges the Supreme Court to urgently take up the pending writ petition and give him a fair trial.
Seema Mustafa, President Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary Anant Nath, Treasurer
2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India
Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and
multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.
The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry.
While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately
their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book
printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.
The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.
Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.
Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.
Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.