Terming the central government’s day-long ban on NDTV India – a popular Hindi news channel – as a black day for journalism, hundreds of journalists took to Deputy Commissioner’s Office to protest what they called ‘infringement of press freedom’ and ‘undeclared emergency’ by the government.
The journalists under the banner of Mysuru District Journalists’ Association (MDJA) condemned the government’s move and demanded that the diktat should be withdrawn.
“It is sad that NDTV India is being singled out though almost all the channels telecast Pathankot attack. If at all the channel had misled or telecast wrong information, there were various other laws to deal with such cases. But, surprisingly, national security clause has been invoked in the case of NDTV India,” MDJA President K Deepak said.
“Ban on the news channel is a black day for journalism. We at the MDJA condemn the central government’s move and demand the withdrawal of ban immediately,” Deepak added.
Television channels were blacked out 28 times over the past decade for violating various broadcasting norms but mostly for flouting rules against showing adult content and nudity. The action against NDTV is, however, the first time a channel was barred from broadcasting for breaching laws pertaining to national security.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has imposed a blackout prohibiting the transmission or re-transmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India on November 9 for allegedly breaching broadcasting norms.
Speaking on the occasion, senior journalist Shivkumar expressed concern over I&B’s decision to ban the news channel for a day, saying it is an ‘infringement of press right’ and accused the central government of using ‘extra constitutional force’ to silent the media.
He also said that the government was misusing sedition and security acts to silent the dissent.
A memorandum was also submitted to the Deputy Commissioner.