Amidst the growing clarion to censor online content through newly framed IT rules in the country, the issue of harassment and acquisition of illegal gratification by some web channels has come up as a major challenge for basic ethics of the journalism and mass media sector in Odisha.
Adding more to the grave situation, two representatives of a news web portal were arrested on the charges of demanding an extortion of Rs 50,000 from a teacher at Umerkote in Nabarangpur district.
The accused have been identified as Jitendra Das and Shankar Prasad Turuk. Police officials said that another representative of the web channel Nigam Sahu is absconding in connection with the incident.
As per reports, the portal staff had demanded Rs 50,000 to resolve a dispute between teacher and guardians over the admission of a student at the Nayakguda government project upper primary school without necessary approvals.
The concerned teacher, who is the complainant in the case, claimed to have paid Rs 35,000 to the web channel representatives but they later started to threaten him for the remaining Rs 15,000.
Based on the written complaint, Nabarangpur police arrested the two web channel representatives while another journalist is still absconding.
It is pertinent to mention here that two web channel scribes including an editor were arrested in Bhubaneswar recently for allegedly posting obscene and defamatory content against sprinter Dutee Chand.
The Supreme Court had also recently voiced serious concern over running of fake news on social media platforms and mushrooming of web portals carrying vague content. The apex judicial body had said that such online content is tarnishing the image of India and also pose a danger to ethics of journalism and mass communication.
(Edited By Suryakant Jena)