Broadcast, journalist bodies back NDTV, slam Centre

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 04, 2016

NDTV terms I&B Ministry order “shocking”, says it will explore all options

A day after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ordered NDTV India to go off the air for a day, the broadcaster expressed shock and said it was examining all its options.

Meanwhile, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) said the government should have referred the matter to its self-regulatory body — the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) — which examines complaints against news broadcasters.

While confirming that it had received the order from the I&B Ministry, NDTV said, “It is shocking that NDTV has been singled out in this manner.

“Every channel and newspaper had similar coverage. In fact, NDTV’s coverage was particularly balanced. After the dark days of the Emergency, when the press was fettered, it is extraordinary that NDTV is being proceeded against in this manner. NDTV is examining all options in this matter,” the statement added.

The NBA expressed concern with the decision of the I&B Ministry’s Inter-Ministerial Committee.

It said the committee and the Ministry should have seen the airing of content from the “prism of freedom of media which is guaranteed in the Constitution and not gone strictly by the regulations under the Cable Act.”

“It would have been appropriate, if the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had referred the alleged violations of NDTV India to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, the independent self-regulatory body of the NBA.

Freedom of media

“In the interest of the freedom of the media, NBA requests the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to kindly re-consider its decision,” the statwement added.

The Broadcast Editors’ Association said imposing a ban was a violation of the Freedom of Expression and that the decision should be withdrawn immediately.

“BEA would go into the issue in detail and come out with a comprehensive report on it,” a release from the BEA added.

Various other journalist associations also came in support of NDTV.

The Editors Guild of India condemned the “unprecedented decision” of the Inter-Ministerial Committee of the I&B Ministry.

“There are various legal remedies available to both a citizen and a State in the court of law to have action taken for any irresponsible media coverage.

“Imposing a ban without resorting to judicial intervention or oversight violates the fundamental principles of freedom and justice.

“The Editors Guild of India calls for an immediate withdrawal of the ban order,” it said in a statement.

Published on November 04, 2016
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