A day after the broadcast media’s missive to the prime minister protesting the proposed amendment in the Cable Network Regulation Act, the Prime Minister’s Office has asked I&B Ministry to consult the media before bringing the amendments.
The ministry had proposed to restrict electronic media’s access to feeds during national crises, making it mandatory for news channels to show footage provided by the government.
Terming the proposed amendments as “historic blunder”, the editors told the PM that approving the draconian measures would taint the UPA government and remind the country of the dark days of the Emergency.
“As editors, we believe that the media is the watchdog to keep democracy and democratic principles alive. If instruments of the state begin to regulate us, the damage to democracy and all stakeholders... would be irreparable. It’s is all the more surprising that this is happening when you are holding charge of the ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” the letter to the PM said.
Asking the government to suspend the restricting measures, it said: “The electronic media fraternity has already made significant movement in this direction. In view of this, we urge you to immediately suspend the proposed measures”.