Condemning the information & broadcasting (I&B) ministry’s decision to take Hindi language news channel NDTV India off air for 24 hours, the Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) has expressed concern on the government’s decision and demanded that the order be withdrawn immediately.
The Broadcast Editors’ Association, in a statement, said that it would go into the issue in detail and come out with a comprehensive report on it. The BEA has senior journalists of leading news channels as members.
“Broadcast Editors’ Association expressed deep concern at the government’s decision to ban NDTV India for a day. Imposing a ban is a violation of freedom of expression and the decision should be withdrawn immediately,” the BEA said in a statement today.
The statement, issued by BEA President Shazi Zaman and General Secretary N K Singh, expressed that the editors’ association would go into the issue.
Earlier, the I&B ministry had issued an ordered saying that NDTV India should be taken off air for a day after an inter-ministerial panel constituted by the ministry recommended this action over the broadcaster’s coverage of the Pathankot terror attack in January.
The panel had concluded that the channel ‘NDTV India’ had revealed crucial and “strategically sensitive” information when the terror attack on an IAF base was being carried out.
The government recommended the news channel be taken off air for 24 hours for allegedly revealing “strategically-sensitive information” during the course of its coverage of the anti-terror operations at the Pathankot airbase earlier this year.
The order imposed a blackout prohibiting “the transmission or re-transmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India with effect from 00:01 hrs on 9th November to 00:01 hrs of 10th November”.
“The order of the MIB has been received. 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,” said a NDTV statement.