The broadcasting watchdog, the News Broadcasting Standards Association, has reportedly threatened to shut down Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV after he refused to apologise to an innocent man, who he had branded a harasser and thug in one of his TV debates last year. The NBSA has reportedly threatened to approach the Information and Broadcasting ministry to have Republic TV shut down and its licensed revoked.
Pratishtha Singh, who occasionally writes for Janta Ka Reporter, had approached the NBSA last year with her husband, who Goswami had wrongly defamed by branding him as a harasser and thug. Ruling on their petitions, the NBSA had directed to broadcast a full screen apology on 7 or 14 September. The wording of the apology was agreed;
“On the debate ‘Jignesh Flop Show’ aired on Republic TV on 09.01.2018, at 9 pm, this channel had circled the visual of Mr A Singh (while running pictures of its news editor Ms Shivani Gupta) as targeting and intimidating her. On a complaint by A Singh, News Broadcasting and Standard Authority has passed an order dated 30.08.2018 holding that Mr Arnab Goswami, who anchored the programme, was not justified in using the words ‘I am going to show these crude, lewd hyenas/ show the dirty faces of lewd, cheap, vulgar, sexist pervert and Indian goons’ with reference to the complainant. News Broadcasting Standards furtehr held that the channel had violated the code of ethics and the broadcasting standards of the NBA and the Specific Guidelines Covering Reportage and should, therefore, air an apology to Mr A Singh. Accordingly, we, hereby, apologise to Mr A Singh for wrongly referring to him as lewd, cheap, vulgar, sexist pervert and Indian goon.’
Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV defied the NBSA order and filed a review petition. However, the broadcasting watchdog is now believed to have rejected his review petition. Goswami told Mynation, a website owned by his business partner Rajeev Chandrsekhar, that he had not received any letter from the NBSA, but the question of running an apology did not arise. He was quoted as saying, “..The Lutyens’ media must know that I will never apologise to a harasser even if he has the backing of the Congress or of the Lutyens’ media. I will be horrified if anyone expects editors to apologise to lumpen elements who harass and molest journalists… I will say it again: a bunch of vulgar perverts attacked Shivani (Gupta).’
Pratishtha Singh had earlier said that she and her husband were determined to take the matter to its logical end even if it meant filing a criminal complaint against Goswami and his channel.
Writing exclusively for Janta Ka Reporter, Pratishtha Singh had said that she was ‘shocked to find her husband’s face flashing on Arnab Goswami’s show’ during his channel’s coverage of Jignesh Mevani’s rally in Delhi.
“He, among many others, was being shown in still images with a halo of red dots crowning his head. Arnab Goswami, the GOSSIP KING in all his delicacy, was shouting at supporters of Mewani and asking for a reply,” Singh had written. (You can read her blog here).
According to Goswami and his channel, their reporter Shivani Gupta was harassed while covering the rally organised by Jignesh Mevani, a Gujarat MLA.
— Republic (@republic) January 9, 2018