Others Reporter’s Diary: The week the media refused to be gagged

Reporter’s Diary: The week the media refused to be gagged

Author | Puneet Bedi Bahri | Saturday, Jan 17,2009 7:23 AM

Reporter’s Diary: The week the media refused to be gagged

What a week this has been! In an admirable show of unity, the news channels managed to impress upon the Government to rethink on the proposed curbs while reporting on crisis situations. Print had some good news, too, with the Government allowing 100 per cent FDI in facsimile editions of foreign newspapers.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had proposed amendments to the Cable Television Network Rules without taking into consideration the views of the media fraternity. This amendment, it has been alleged, would curb the freedom of the press, which is a fundamental right and was not acceptable by the Indian media fraternity.

From the editors uniting to write a letter to the Prime Minister, to his putting hold on the proposed amendments to the Cable Bill till possibly the General Elections, the week saw much action. As a reporting covering the media beat, I had my hands full reporting on these developments throughout the week.

At the same time I do have a few questions in mind, which I wonder would be answered? On January 14, 2009, a delegation of editors met UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the very next day the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) met her again. One does wonder why the editors and the NBA met Gandhi separately, when each is a part of the other.

Other headlines that generated a lot of interest included former Editor-in-Chief of Mint, Raju Narisetti, joining The Washington Post as Managing Editor, along with Elizabeth Spayd.

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