Most of the leading dailies in the valley printed their front pages in blank on Sunday as a mark of protest against the "unexplained denial" of advertisements to two newspapers by the Jammu and Kashmir government.
The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) had claimed last month that the state government had stopped giving advertisements to two major local dailies - Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.
"With utmost regret, Kashmir Editors Guild wishes to inform that the Jammu and Kashmir government has stopped state government advertisements to two major daily newspapers - Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader," the guild had said in a statement, adding the decision was neither conveyed formally nor was any reason detailed to the respective organisations.
As a mark of protest, the leading dailies -- both English and Urdu -- printed a blank front page on Sunday.
The front pages only carried a message from the KEG saying "in protest against unexplained denial of government advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader."
A spokesman of the KEG said the guild and the Kashmir Editors Forum had on Saturday decided to print the front pages of the papers as blank against the government''s move "to scuttle" the media in Kashmir.
The KEG and the editors forum held a protest at Press Club here on Sunday afternoon against the government decision.
Speaking on the occasion, Bashir Manzar, general secretary KEG and editor of Daily Kashmir Images, said the government decision has the potential of impacting the state and the status of journalism in Kashmir.
"We consider the decision against democracy and in violation of the free media that is guaranteed by the constitution," he said.