Ban recalls Emergency, withdraw it: Editors Guild on NDTV India

The Editor’s Guild called the ministry’s decision unprecedented and demanded the order to be “immediately rescinded”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: November 5, 2016 4:08 am
NDTV ban, NDTV off air, NDTV pathankot coverage, NDTV news ban, NDTV shut off I&B Ministry panel ordered NDTV India be taken off air for 24 hours for it’s coverage of Pathankot attack.

THE EDITORS Guild of India has “strongly condemned” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s order banning the transmission and re-transmission of NDTV India for a day on November 9 and said that it is “reminiscent of the Emergency”. The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) said that it was “deeply concerned” by the ministry’s order.

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The ministry, based on a recommendation of an inter-ministerial committee, had issued an order on November 2 banning NDTV India for a day for its coverage of the terrorist attack in Pathankot in January. It is learnt that NDTV is mulling all legal options to challenge the ministry’s order.

The Guild called the ministry’s decision unprecedented and demanded that the order be “immediately rescinded”. “The decision to take the channel off the air for a day is a direct violation of the freedom of the media and therefore the citizens of India and amounts to harsh censorship imposed by the government reminiscent of the Emergency,” it said in a statement signed by the Guild’s chairman Raj Chengappa, Group Editorial Director (Publishing), India Today Group.

“This first-of-its-kind order to impose a blackout has seen the Central government entrust itself with the power to intervene in the functioning of the media and take arbitrary punitive action as and when it does not agree with the coverage,” the Editor’s Guild said.

It further stated that various legal remedies are available with the citizens and the government 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,” it said, adding that the Guild called for the “immediate withdrawal of the ban order”.

The NBA said that it was “surprising” that NDTV India “has been singled out” by the inter-ministerial committee and the ministry “when the rest of the media also did cover the terror attack and all such reports were available in the public domain”.

It said that it should have been seen “from the prism of freedom of media, which is guaranteed in the constitution” and shouldn’t have gone “strictly” by the Cable Act.

It said that the alleged violations should have been referred to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, the independent self-regulatory body of NBA. It requested the ministry to re-consider its decision “in the interest of the freedom of media”.

The inter-ministerial committee includes bureaucrats from six ministries other than information and broadcasting. The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre, which was established in 2008 by the I&B ministry to check for violations of Programme Code, Advertising Code and various provisions of the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995 had flagged the channel’s coverage of the Pathankot terrorist attack after which the ministry had issued a showcase notice to the channel.

After going through channel’s response in writing and by representatives, the inter-ministerial committee recommended that the NDTV India be taken off-air for one day, under Section 20(2) of the Cable Act. The inter-ministerial committee had initially opined that “taking the channel off-air for 30 days for causing threat to national security through their programming will be justified”. Then, reconsidering, not to impose a “very harsh” penalty, it reduced it to one day, the minimum penalty.

The ministry’s order said the committee recommended the ban “so that they do not get away completely for this huge indiscretion and violation of specific rule or guideline relating to national security concerns”. It said the penalty must be imposed on the channel “for their transgression coupled with their unrepentant demeanour”.

The ministry agreed with the committee’s recommendation and said that NDTV India “had indeed shown irresponsibility” in complying with the Programme Code while covering anti-terrorist operations by the security forces. Using sub-sections (2) and (3) of sections 20 of the Cable Act, the ministry ordered the “prohibition” of transmission and re-transmission of NDTV India on November 9.

Sources said that since 2005, the ministry has issued orders to ban 28 other channels for a period ranging from one day to two months. Although NDTV is the first news channel to be banned for issues related to national security, orders to ban four other news channels have been issued in the past.

Janmat ? now called Live India ? was banned for a month for an alleged false sting operation; Satlon News was banned for airing nude visuals of a woman; DY365 revealed the identity of a rape victim; and international news channel Al Jazeera was taken off air for five days for allegedly showing the wrong map of India.

Other channels that have been banned include general entertainment, movies, fashion and comedy. Some of these orders have been challenged in the court, while a few others are under review by the ministry, sources said.

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  1. R
    Ram
    Nov 4, 2016 at 8:31 pm
    NDTV committed a crime of compromising national security but still getting away with it. Their license for broadcasting news should have been cancelled. Some psycho intellectuals make it govt vs media but in reality it is NDTV against India and this crime has been committed on 26/11 as well as Pathankot.
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      Dr Dharmanshu
      Nov 4, 2016 at 5:18 pm
      I can see a live version of the dictatorship from the movie V for Vendetta. So sorry state of the nation . lt;br/gt;Dictatorship at its all time high . Dumb blind people are even supporting it. lt;br/gt;Gone are the good old days of love and peace. Hatered hatered hatered the new mantra. Society has been poisoned in the blindness of cancer of hate. lt;br/gt;God plz save our nation from the hands of miscreants and dividers.
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      1. M
        MO
        Nov 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm
        this is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and we call it the largest democracy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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        1. R
          Ramesh
          Nov 5, 2016 at 5:06 am
          Is this the givt policy to ban everything which opposes its crimes and failure .lt;br/gt;This is the height of dictatorship . Politics of hate doesn't run for a long time . Even the dumb blind people supporting it will understand the dirty politics and raise their voice against it.
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          1. B
            Bir Chilarai
            Nov 5, 2016 at 10:26 am
            Maybe the government should reopen the NDTV case and examine its coverage in Mumbai, Kargil and Pathankot. According to most observers, all three episodes directly caused the deaths of Indians by irresponsible reporting that bordered on deliberately aiding the enemy. Then drag this guild of fatsos and alcoholics over the coals and make them justify their ic braying in light of what has been found. These people need to be taken to the cleaners and given a complete dhulai. IMO jail time is not enough.
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            1. M
              Maz
              Nov 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm
              LOL...yes good old days of "actual emergency" when liberals were busy jailing political opponents and throwing judges out of the supreme court and conducting m arrests. Never mind that during the UPA regime the then govt also ped similar disciplinary sanctions against news channels for violating the program code. Never mind also that after 26/11 these clowns in the media vowed not to compromise national security and telecast live operations or divulge security information in real time . Poor India indeed - today we have a bunch of lunatic hysteria hypocrites calling themselves as "liberals" calling other people dumb and blind.. lol
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              1. S
                Suman
                Nov 5, 2016 at 3:36 am
                When Congress did the same earlier during Indira hi time, it lost power. Second time when congress tried to suppress the pubic opinion and all arrogants like Kapil Sibal, Abhisekh Manu Singhvi and Manish Tiwari tried their best, Congress lost miserably. BJP got the madness within few months of coming to power, Ban on everything T.V., Film, opinion, student protest...all leading to the death of BJP in a sure short way. Lets think it is a great sign for India's future. Be absolutely positive! With the demise of BJP the country can get rid of regressive thinking and become more awakened and think for better future.
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                1. G
                  ggji
                  Nov 4, 2016 at 5:40 pm
                  The ,,,, Kejru is cause of everything
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    mohan
                    Nov 5, 2016 at 7:45 am
                    During Raj, the media were empire loyalists because press was owned and controlled by western intelelctuals. After independence also, they continued their loyalty to Nehru hi family. L.K. Advani made an apt remark regarding the media censorship during emergency : "You were asked to bend but you began to crawl". The same media reacts differently because Anti-hindutwa, anti-bjp, Modi baiters are owning almost all media houses During a period of conflict or war like situation, it may be required to ban many of the foreign funded media channels. Govt may be having limitation in imposing media censorship. So the people should do that through social media awareness and boycott of all products advertised through those channels The Main Stream Media is a pack of bubbles. What you see as Breakin News in TV channels are the final bubbles rising from a sunken ship
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                    1. M
                      Munzir Baig
                      Nov 6, 2016 at 2:16 am
                      What else can be expected from this government. Freedom of press is under treat.
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                      1. S
                        sumitbihani
                        Nov 5, 2016 at 9:37 am
                        stan banned all Indian Channels, whereas India banned only one Channel that also for 1 day..Not Fair...NDTV should be banned forever, traitor...
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                        1. M
                          M.s. Venkatraghavan
                          Nov 5, 2016 at 9:44 am
                          Will you tell who are these Editors's guild and what are their credentials? When Mumbai attack was in progress live telecast was used by the handlers to guide the terrorists resulted in death of innocent persons of both civil and security establishment is in public domain. Why all these news channels never offered their apologies to the Nation.Patriotic, law abiding and peace loving Indians were shocked to find Editors's guild never acted with any sense of responsibility and punished these irresponsible News channels. They served stani terrorists knowing fully well that they ditched the Nation at the hour of crisis. Do we need such Media working against our Nation by portraying our Nation in poor light.Why none of those Editors of news channels never went to jail or at least now is not known and perplexing.These anarchists have no shame as they sell the Nation and fill their bellies is sad.
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                            Anis
                            Nov 5, 2016 at 9:26 am
                            All are leftists, aren't they? Sob.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Anis
                              Nov 5, 2016 at 9:22 am
                              Fascism.
                              Reply
                              1. V
                                vijay karthik
                                Nov 5, 2016 at 1:20 am
                                ndtv should be banned for its life.
                                Reply
                                1. V
                                  vish
                                  Nov 5, 2016 at 4:56 am
                                  Does editor guild know that there are set guidelines and rules on what should be telecasted ?Anything that jeopardises the national interest is banned from telecasting .If an ordinary citizen breaks the rule then he gets punished then why not news channels .There is no permanent ban and not on all channels ,it is only for law breaking cahnnels.All Law abiding citizens should condemn this act of editors guild .
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