PRESSMEN ARE NOT SLAVES

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An incident occurred last week during the Students’ Union week, the Asun night to be precise. The Students’ Union Executives and some other people were down at the Student union building which had been turned to a slaughter-house. There they were viewing the slaughtering of goats for the Asun night. A pressman passing by at that time, quiet naturally, took out his phone and proceeded to take a few pictures of the slaughtering that was taking place in broad daylight.

Then suddenly, someone caught him snapping and raised alarm. Before you could spell Jack, they wanted to grab the unsuspecting pressman saying things like, “Why would you be snapping now? “Who gave you the authority to snap”? “Where were you when we went for rally in the morning”?

All these and many more obscene words were thrown at the poor guy. The Students Union president at this time was barely recognizable, with his “earings” and bloodshot eyes. He started shouting “cuss words” more befitting of a bus conductor. One would have thought that the guy in question had committed treason. As if this was not enough, they called some big bodied men to come and carry the guy away from the scene. The pressman, who at this time had recovered from his initial shock at being treated thus, took to his heels and ran to the UCJ office.

The UCJ president, in holy consternation at the treatment of his fellow pressman in such an evil manner, stormed down to confront them. They almost beat him up and all they were chanting was, “Where were the pressmen this morning when we needed them to cover the rally”? If they didn’t cover the rally, then they cant come and snap here”!

From all these, it will be easy for the wise to deduce that pressmen have been turned to servants who must be at every politician’s beck and call. As press men, of course, it is our duty to ensure proper dissemination of information to the general public. Now, this does not mean that pressmen should be subjected harassments and public humiliation in the cause of carrying out our duties.

This is not the first time something of this nature is occurring, some people have made it their life’s ambition to serve as a stumbling block to journalists. The question one should ask Huntershola and his cohorts is that, why are they killing goats in broad daylight if they do not want to be seen? Why not do it behind closed doors?

There is a stark difference between the way things are done and the way things should be done! Harassing a pressman in the process of carrying out his duty, which we must all remember he is not being paid for, is totally uncalled for such actions should be sanctioned.

They claimed that no pressman came to cover their event but we put it to them that, of course, that can’t be true. Over a hundred students went for that rally and at least 10% of them could have been pressmen. Will they carry placards on their heads indicating that they are pressmen? And even if no pressmen covered the event, which is impossible, campus pressmen are not slaves! Therefore they should not be treated thus. We should not be treated as outcasts because we tell the truth. The truth will indeed set you free, but first, it will piss you off.

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