NBA flays "defamatory charges" levelled against news channels by Kejriwal
In a statement issued, NBA said, "It is shocking to note that the very parties that gained immensely from media coverage are today turning against the electronic media, when they are under scrutiny on issues of governance"
News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has objected to what it calls “the unverified, unsubstantiated and highly defamatory charges” being levelled against news channels by Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and their members attributing corrupt motives and accusing the electronic media for not giving enough coverage or ignoring this or that party, without specific details to substantiate such charges.
In a statement issued, NBA said, “It is shocking to note that the very parties that gained immensely from media coverage are today turning against the electronic media, when they are under scrutiny on issues of governance.”
Meanwhile, a fierce war of words in on, on Twitter. Former journalist and AAP member Ashutosh has tweeted: @ashutosh83B: “There is mafia working in media to high jack democracy.They should be arrested.#MediaManupulation”
Agreeing with this, Kejriwal wrote: @ArvindKejriwal: “I agree. @ashutosh83B: There is mafia working in media to high jack democracy.They should be arrested.#MediaManupulation". Also, reacting to the statements made by NBA and the Editors Guild of India, Kejriwal tweeted the question: “Will NBA and Editors Guild take action?”
Coming to news broadcasters’ defence, Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, IBN18 Network replied: @sardesairajdeep: “@ArvindKejriwal please do not generalise. There are rotten eggs in every basket.”
NBA has also expressed shock over the statement made by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that he would crush the electronic media and that a “close watch” is being kept on them.
NBA’s statement categorically states that a news channel’s endeavour is to cover news-worthy events across all segments of national and international life and to present news to viewers which is current and relevant. “The media provides a service that is essential for any democratic society. This is particularly important when the most fundamental aspect of a democracy – the Elections – are round the corner. At such a time, the media plays an indispensable role in enabling citizens to stay well informed and make important choices. There can be no acceptable reason for attacking the media on frivolous unsubstantiated grounds. Intimidation and preventing the media from performing its duties amounts to interfering with the freedoms enshrined in and guaranteed by the Constitution,” NBA added.
The news broadcasters’ body has appealed to political leaders from all parties and public figures not to level baseless charges against the media and keep the discourse civil and sane.
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