Only AIR, DD to air breaking news, I&B ministry tells netas | india | Hindustan Times
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Only AIR, DD to air breaking news, I&B ministry tells netas

The information and broadcasting ministry has written to all the Union ministries and departments to give all breaking news, relating to government decisions and policy initiatives, only to AIR and Doordarshan before private TV channels and news agencies.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2014 00:06 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

The information and broadcasting ministry has written to all the Union ministries and departments to give all breaking news — relating to government decisions and policy initiatives — only to the state-owned All India Radio (AIR) and national broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) before private TV channels and news agencies.

“Any important announcements regarding government decisions and policy initiatives may be given to News Services Division of AIR/DD News in advance of private news channels and agencies,” says a letter (HT has a copy) by I&B secretary Bimal Julka, dated September 12, 2014.

“It would be highly appreciated if you could request your minister to give exclusive 10-15 minute interviews each in Hindi and English for current affairs programmes broadcasts and telecasts by NSD: AIR and DD news respectively on the designated days of media interactions.”

Julka’s letter doesn’t stop there.

“The ministers may also be requested to participate in NSD’s programmes/DD News and give 1-2 minute statement in the regional languages of their preference. The statements can be used in the regional language bulletins originating from New Delhi,” the letter says.

The move is strongly reminiscent of a similar directive issued by the UPA government.

Caught in the cesspool of allegations of scams amid a high-pitched agitation by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, the then cabinet secretary Ajit Seth had written to all ministries and departments to utilise the vast resources of DD and AIR, advising that correspondents of DD and AIR should be given appointments promptly by all ministers and officials to ensure the government’s viewpoint is correctly reflected in the media in an elaborate manner.

DD’s news operations was recently in the news when an anchor pronounced Xi Jinping’s name as “Eleven Jinping” apparently mistaking the “Xi” for the Roman numeral “XI”.