NDTV 'blank screen' protest gets support on social media

NDTV opts for silence on prime time to protest against the government ban on airing of 2012 Delhi gang rape documentary

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Mar 11, 2015 11:26 AM
NDTV 'blank screen' protest gets support on social media

The documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ was supposed to be aired on Women’s Day at 9 pm on NDTV but after getting banned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), the channel decided to go blank in order to protest against the ban.

NDTV ran a slate referring to the film’s title ‘India’s Daughter’ in an hour long slot from 9 pm to 10 pm.

Editorial Director of NDTV Sonia Singh tweeted last night, “We won't shout but we will be heard @SharmaKadambini: #IndiasDaughters 9pm to 10pm”

Group CEO, Vikram Chandra also shared his views by tweeting, “You don't have to shout to be heard. Silence can speak too.”

When we asked NDTV about the last night protest, the only statement from the organisation was, “We have no statement other than our screen between 9 and 10 pm last night. That should speak louder than words.”

The documentary is however available on the internet and got million of views. Since its unofficial release, it has sparked controversy and debates from parliament to the streets and from social media to newsrooms.

This protest may have a big impact on NDTV’s revenue but the channel has received praise via millions of twitter followers. Senior journalist, Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted, ‘When media looks to censor other media, then we know we are in trouble. Will watch #IndiasDaughter on the net tonight. In solidarity.’

Omar Abdullah, former CM of Jammu & Kashmir said on Twitter, “Well done to @ndtv for protesting the ban imposed on #IndiasDaughter without resorting to noise & shrill voices. I hope the ban is lifted.

In its advisory regarding the ban MIB had stated, “Whereas the telecast of these excerpts appear to compromise the role of the media as the upholder of constitutional values as the fourth pillar of our democracy. The media is likely to be seen as a voice for the perpetrator of such crimes by providing him a medium to communicate his views on the matter repeatedly. Further, his appeal being sub-judice, this is also liable to be construed as interference with the due process of law.’

Highlighting the cable act, it further stated, “Whereas the telecast of these excerpts are liable to attract provisions of Rule 6 (1) (d, e, f, i, k and o) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.”

“All the private satellite TV channels are accordingly advised to not telecast the documentary 'lndia's daughter or any excerpts from therein or any programmes based on these excerpts,” the Ministry had informed broadcasters in its advisory.

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