The News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) led by Republic Media Network Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami has come out in his defence, accusing the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) of arm-twisting and bullying BARC into taking action against Republic TV.
NBA had on Monday asked for the suspension of Republic TV ratings and IBF membership after the purported chats between Goswami and former BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta came to the light.
While NBA’s demands did not come after the FIR or the on-going court case, and were specifically made on the basis of the purported WhatsApp chats submitted by Mumbai Police as proof in their chargesheet, the NBF seemed to have decided to ignore the content of the chat, which would be damaging to the industry if proven true.
NBF said, “The matter is before the courts and deliberations are on regarding the quashing of the FIR. In other words, the trial against Republic TV has not even begun.”
Both NBF and Republic TV have been claiming that the FIR and police investigations are politically motivated but both have not denied the content of the chat or explained how these chats are a part of the political malice.
NBF in its defence forgot that two wrongs don't make a right and attempted to change the goal post. “NBF has strong reasons and evidences to believe that channels, across genres, have been indulging in such malpractices for several years now. Limiting the investigations to a limited time period and singling out the news genre, or one specific channel for competitive reasons, is undemocratic,” said R. Jai Krishna, Secretary-General, News Broadcasters Federation.
The Goswami-led federation said, “It is also important to note that senior officials of the India Today Group have been interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate. By this logic, should India Today also be suspended from IBF, as well as the ratings of India Today be suspended by BARC? Several other channels, including GECs and channels in the Telugu genre, are being investigated. Should the ratings of these GECs and channels of the Telugu genre also be suspended from IBF and from ratings?”
NBF said it will move court to stop what it said was unilateralism in the functioning of BARC. “NBF hopes that the management of BARC will use their wisdom and not succumb to corporate pressure in this manner, which will be patently illegal. NBF firmly stands its ground for the freedom of the press and the professional and business interests of news channels,” the federation said.