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IJU PROTESTS AGAINST PRASAR BHARATI THREAT TO PTI

June 28, 2020 07:35 PM

Hyderabad/Chandigarh (Face2News)

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly condemned the threat of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati to cancel the subscription of the Press Trust of India (PTI) for its coverage of recent developments on Indo-China border which was allegedly “detrimental to national interest and undermined India’s territorial integrity”. Apparently, the national broadcaster was displeased with the interviews of Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong and Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri the news agency carried on the controversy. 

Indian Journalists Union (IJU) President K Sreenivas Reddy and Secretary General Balwinder Singh Jammu termed the Prasar Bharati’s threat to cut the subscription of PTI a blatant attack on the freedom of the press and amounted to arm twisting and blackmail of the news agency and unacceptable. “In the best traditions of the credible, balanced, and ethical journalism, the PTI carried the interviews of both the Chinese and Indian Ambassadors to give their versions to the people.


In the interview, Mr. Sun had put the onus of the conflict at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, and the subsequent clashes that killed 20 Indian soldiers. Indian Ambassador Vikram Misri asserted in the interview that Chinese troops should move back to their side of the LAC in Ladakh, a statement that contradicted what the Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the all-party meeting held last week that no outsider was inside Indian territory in Ladakh nor had any border post of the Indian Army been captured during the clashes with Chinese troops.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) President K Sreenivas Reddy and Secretary General Balwinder Singh Jammu termed the Prasar Bharati’s threat to cut the subscription of PTI a blatant attack on the freedom of the press and amounted to arm twisting and blackmail of the news agency and unacceptable. “In the best traditions of the credible, balanced, and ethical journalism, the PTI carried the interviews of both the Chinese and Indian Ambassadors to give their versions to the people.

The public broadcaster instead of appreciating the balanced coverage chose to threaten the news agency as its reportage did not conform to the narrative of the ruling establishment, undermining its autonomy and independence,” the statement said.

“The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) is concerned over the Prasar Bharati becoming the arm of the ruling establishment and serving its partisan interests instead of serving the public good. We appeal to the Prasar Bharati board to desist from such threats and retain its independence by serving the cause of the right to information of the people”. The IJU leaders urged the Press Council of India Chairman Justice C K Prasad to take suo motu cognisance of the Prasar Bharati’s threat to cripple the economic viability of the premier news agency Press Trust of India.

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