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Widely read Kashmir dailies leave front pages blank


Srinagar: All 16 English and Urdu newspapers of the Kashmir Valley that are members of the Kashmir Editors Guild on Sunday left their front pages blank to protest against the Jammu and Kashmir government's denial of advertisements to two leading dailies.

The widely circulated English language newspapers "Greater Kashmir" and "Kashmir Reader" were left blank by the managements after the government advertisements to them stopped.

In solidarity, the other newspapers also decided to do the same. 

Abdul Rashid Makhdoomi, Marketing Manager of 'Greater Kashmir' group, told IANS that all 16 English and Urdu newspaper members of the Editors Guild "have left the front pages blank".

The Kashmir Editors Guild said it took the decision to register its protest against the decision of the state government.

"In protest against unexplained denial of government advertisements to 'Greater Kashmir' and 'Kashmir Reader' - Kashmir Editors Guild" -- read a message on the otherwise blank front pages of the dailies.

The managements of the two dailies have said government advertisements to them were stopped last month without assigning any reason.

"In fact, we came to know about the government decision from a tweet by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah," said a member of the Guild.

Abdullah had tweeted on February 22: "In a classic case of shooting the messenger, the state government is reported to have blocked 'Greater Kashmir' newspaper group from any government advertisements. If true I'm not sure what this move is meant to achieve other than to create a pliant, subservient media."

On Sunday, Abdullah tweeted: "A development that has got almost no coverage outside of the Valley. The government is attempting to choke the media by denying them advertising revenues. I hope the Centre and State immediately reverse this decision of trying to silence the fourth estate."




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