The Listening Post

‘Normalcy’ vs reality: Conflicting narratives about Kashmir

Foreign press and Indian media see Kashmir very differently. Plus, the challenge of investigative journalism in Albania.

On The Listening Post this week: In Kashmir, the foreign press and Indian media see things very differently. Plus, the challenge of investigative journalism in Albania.

Conflicting narratives about the Kashmir shutdown

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi made good on his election promise to revoke Article 370 of the Indian constitution, he swept away what little remained of Kashmiri autonomy.

The region – officially called Jammu and Kashmir in India – is now set to come under the complete control of New Delhi.

More Indian troops have flooded in and communications have been cut off – a near-total shutdown of the internet, mobile phones and landlines that is now into its fourth week.

Two distinct news narratives have since emerged.

Most Indian news outlets describe the situation in Kashmir as one of “normalcy” and insist there has been little resistance. Then there is the handful of Indian outlets and numerous international news organisations that have discovered a very different reality on the ground.

This report contains footage shot in Srinagar during the communications blockade. The crew on the ground included producer Fahad Shah and cameraman Muzamil Aftab.


Aditya Raj Kaul – strategic affairs editor, Business Television India

Nirupama Subramanian – regional editor, The Indian Express

Mirza Waheed – journalist and novelist

Surabhi Tandon – special correspondent, France24

On our radar

Richard Gizbert hears from producer Tariq Nafi and Ana Cristina Ruelas of the NGO Article 19 about the recent spate of journalist killings in Mexico, the world’s deadliest country for media workers.

Targeted: The journalists reporting politics and crime in Albania

This past January, a story by two digital news outlets in Albania confirmed what many in the country had long suspected that the relationship between politicians, the judiciary and organised crime is far too close for comfort.

The Balkans Investigative Reporting Network and Voice of America published a series of leaked phone calls between government officials – including Prime Minister Edi Rama – and crime bosses, who can be heard colluding to rig the 2016 and 2017 elections.

However, none of the senior officials implicated has been arrested. Instead, the judiciary has gone after those who leaked and published the material.

The Listening Post’s Johanna Hoes reports from Tirana on politics, crime, journalism and the story the Albanian authorities are still trying to kill.


Klodiana Lala – reporter, News 24

Besar Likmeta – editor, BIRN Albania

Alice Taylor – journalist, Exit.Al & The Shift News

Flutura Kusari – media lawyer