IJU lambasts Prasar Bharati

The Prasar Bharati has reportedly accused the PTI of its coverage “disseminated widely to its domestic subscribers and prominently shared with foreign entities” of being “detrimental to national interest while undermining India’s territorial integrity.”

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has lambasted Prasar Bharti for issuing a statement that it is “no longer tenable” to patronize the Press Trust of India after it quoted the Chinese Ambassador in India, following an earlier interview with the Indian Ambassador in Beijing on the ongoing India-China stand-off.

A release said, “Though Prasar Bharati was set up as an autonomous body, it is not secret that it functions as the government’s mouth piece and its action against the PTI smacks of the known growing intolerance there is towards ethical and independent journalism.” IJU is concerned over the government’s latest attempt to rein in the media, this time the biggest agency PTI through the so-called ‘autonomous’ public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati, it said.  The Prasar Bharati has reportedly accused the PTI of its coverage “disseminated widely to its domestic subscribers and prominently shared with foreign entities” of being “detrimental to national interest while undermining India’s territorial integrity,” the release stated.

To justify its proposed action of reviewing its subscription which amounts to a “huge fees”,  the Prasar Bharati now recalls that it has often alerted the PTI on “editorial lapses resulting in dissemination of wrong news harming public interests,” it said.

Prasar Bharti needs to remember that citizen’s right to information and the journalists’ right to report facts are non-negotiable to treat the country's media as a hand maid, the release said. Prasar Bharti must review its decision, it added. 

First Published:June 29, 2020, 10:40 p.m.