Journalists in Kashmir have always faced the brunt in the line of duty in conflict-ridden Kashmir. They have always been the target of all sides. For years the journalists were yearning to have a platform where they can raise the issues pertaining to their security and economic well-being. Such a forum was always seen as important to bring the journalists community together to discuss and debate the issues confront them in day-to-day lives. After years of struggle the government last year conceded to the demand of the media fraternity in Kashmir and allowed it to set up Kashmir Press Club, Aiwan-e-Sahafat. It was an achievement for media in Kashmir to finally get its own address. The first-ever elections to the Press Club to elect its body have now raised the hopes of the journalists that their genuine demands and concerns, pending for years, would now get a proper hearing.
The conduct of elections and constitution of the body to run the daily affairs of the Press Club is only a step towards nourishing and realising the dream that was being nourished by each journalist in Kashmir Valley for years. The agonies faced by Kashmiri journalists in the line of duty are countless. Most of the journalists don’t get sufficient salaries and other incentives from their respective organisations. Besides, the journalists remain the most vulnerable lot in a conflict zone like Kashmir. In the past, many journalists have been killed while dozens of them have been injured in the line of the duty. Often there has been nobody to raise voice in support of them and back them to get what they deserve. The Kashmir Press Club is still in the days of infancy and expecting it to deliver right from the word go will be asking too much. But, at the same time, it is expected that the elected body will settle down to set its priorities right and get going on the promises it has made to the journalists during the campaigning in run-up to the election. The election and constitution of the maiden KPC body has raised hopes within journalist fraternity of Kashmir. Only time will tell whether it will walk the talk!