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Saturday, February 27, 2010

MEDIA RELEASE: Please avoid using "RTI activist" term for people of uncertain credentials

Dear Mediapersons,
W.R.T. the news item in HT (see link and story below), I request all media-persons to please avoid using the term "RTI Activist" for people whose credentials are doubtful. Instead, please frame sentences such as, "He is known to have filed RTI applications against builders etc."
Some of my fellow-activists have been running a background check on this particular "RTI activist". It is learnt from the reporter who filed the story that this so-called "RTI activist" had a chequered past, and his livelihood came from filing RTI applications against various people, and then arm-twisting.
This was independently confirmed by another fellow-activist who contacted three other reporters. We are still trying to re-confirm from various sources.
As in all social groups, there are black sheep among RTI users also. There are complicated shades of gray in society, and we have to be careful whom we support, and what we stand for. Otherwise, the general public and the media may eventually start thinking that all RTI activists are shady characters and blackmailers. It is important to avoid damaging the cause through associating with persons of doubtful motivation and methods.
Warm Regards,
Borivli, Mumbai
Kiran Sonawane, Hindustan Times
Badlapur, February 27, 2010
First Published: 01:42 IST(27/2/2010)
Last Updated: 01:43 IST(27/2/2010)
Two men shot and critically injured Right to Information activist Arun Sawant at Badlapur, Thane, on Friday.

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