The recommendation to impose a one-day ban on NDTV India is utterly disturbing. There has already been considerable social media outcry and we’ve extensively reported both the development and prominent reactions on Janta Ka Reporter.
NDTV has been one of the more responsible media houses in India even though its recent editorial decision to not broadcast the former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s interview on the political fallout of Uri attacks, had drawn flak even from us. That’s because we have always prided ourselves on our ability to remain fiercely objective.
The power to take punitive action against a media entity should never rest with politicians. As journalists, we are expected to be the watchdog of the elected representatives and the recommendation made by the I&B Ministry will severely restrict our ability to perform that duty.
As a token protest against the I&B Ministry’s recommendation and in support of the channel, we’ve decided to blacken our website for at least an hour on the day NDTV India is to be taken off air. Our decision has been taken to ensure editorial independence at a time when we are facing an unprecedented attack on the fourth pillar of democracy in India. It’s NDTV today, it may be us tomorrow.
I can understand why other channels may not come forward in support of NDTV because of the potential financial and political consequences involved. But, at Janta Ka Reporter, we don’t have to deal with any such dilemma as we’ve always maintained a safe distance from both the political leaders and their sympathisers in the corporate world.