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Venkaiah Naidu justifies order on NDTV India

The Minister of Information & Broadcasting blames the channel for not putting freedom of press to good use, hinting that the government would not rethink on its decision

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | November 5, 2016

M Venkaiah Naidu M Venkaiah Naidu

Amidst the protests against the one-day ban on NDTV India and demands to revoke the order by almost all sections of media and media bodies, the government has hinted that it would not rethink its decision. The Union minister of Information & Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu took to Twitter to respond to the issues and concerns being raised.

While almost the entire media across all platforms is condemning the penal action, Naidu has found overwhelming support from citizens for the government’s action. “Happy that countrymen broadly supported government's decision on NDTV India in security interest of the country in the context of terror menace and the need to exercise restraint while reporting anti-terror operations by security personnel,” tweeted the minister.

Justifying the order, Naidu further said, “Decision on NDTV India was only a logical conclusion of concerns voiced by UPA government over live coverage of anti-terror operations since 26/11 terror attack. UPA government issued several advisories calling for restraint. It even said violation of coverage norms amounts to coverage against national interest.”

Following the action against NDTV India, all the media bodies have raised concerns about freedom of press and termed government’s decision as an emergency-like situation.

Responding to those concerns, Naidu said, “BJP leaders and activists are the worst sufferers of Emergency and can't even think of doing the same to others. BJP highly regards media and its freedom and will never do any infringement of such freedom. Unfortunately, NDTV India did not put such freedom to good use.”

“Both UPA and NDA governments voiced concerns over violation of advisories on coverage code while reporting on anti-terror ops. As security of country is a major concern, a rule was made in March this year requiring TV channels to go by official briefings so that security interests are not jeopardised,” added Naidu.

The minister cited that the UPA government took TV channels off air 21 times for showing objectionable visuals and ‘A’ grade certified films at the stroke of midnight. “Isn't showing anti-terror operations live in broad daylight a more serious threat to country?” asked Naidu.

“It’s time to ponder if security of the nation is important or TRPs – television rating points of TV channels. Freedom of press is important but country's security can't be compromised and that is paramount,” concluded the minister making his government’s stand clear on the ban.

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