More than three months after withdrawing from the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Rajat Sharma’s India TV has been persuaded to return to its fold. The decision was formalised on July 16, 2009 after continuous back-channel work by various NBA board members.
The return came after fundamental issues raised by India TV regarding the flouting of rules and guidelines were unequivocally appreciated by all NBA directors. Also, India TV’s contention that in the larger interest of every NBA member there should be ‘zero tolerance’ to any flouting of rules and guidelines by any authority whatsoever was accepted unanimously. This includes all cases – past, present and future.
India TV’s decision to return was sealed after an NBA peace mission, headed by TV Today CEO G Krishnan, finally secured a confirmation from India TV Chairman Rajat Sharma that he would return in deference to the sincere and unanimous assurances given by all Board members.
Meanwhile, Sharma himself will be joining the NBA Board. He already serves on the Board of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). Being a founder member, Sharma’s company, Independent News Service (which owns India TV), has a permanent seat on the NBA Board.
India TV’s nominee under the ‘eminent editors’ category on the NBA Authority, Managing Editor Vinod Kapri, will be returning too.
It may be recalled that India TV on April 10, 2009 had withdrawn from the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) in protest against the self-regulatory body’s decision to slap a fine of Rs 100,000 on the channel for allegedly airing a fake interview with a US-based analyst, Farhana Ali, who is of Pakistani origin.
As reported by exchange4media in April 2009, in a letter sent to the NBA President, Rohit Bansal, COO, India TV, had stated, “We are compelled to notify our withdrawal from the membership of the NBA. This communication may also be kindly treated as a notice for withdrawal from the membership of the NBA with immediate effect.”
Slapped by fine, India TV withdraws from NBA