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NBA censures Kejriwal, Shinde for comments against news channels

MUMBAI: The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has taken strong objection to the statements made by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde against news channels.

In a rally at Rohtak, Kejriwal had alleged that certain news channels were biased against his party and were working under the influence of corporate houses. Shinde, on the other hand, had said at a function in Solapur that certain elements in the electronic media needed to be crushed for spreading false propaganda. The minister later retracted by saying that he was referring to social media.

“NBA appeals to political leaders from all parties and public figures not to level baseless charges against the media and keep the discourse civil and sane,” NBA secretary general Annie Joseph said in a statement.

“It is shocking to note that the very parties that gained immensely from media coverage are today turning against the electronic media, when they are under scrutiny on issues of governance,” she added.

The NBA maintained that the role of a news channel is to cover newsworthy events across all segments of national and international life, and to present news to viewers which are current and relevant.

“The media provides a service that is essential for any democratic society. This is particularly important when the most fundamental aspect of a democracy, the election, is round the corner. At such a time, the media plays an indispensable role in enabling citizens to stay well informed and make important choices,” Joseph stated.

“There can be no acceptable reason for attacking the media on frivolous unsubstantiated grounds. Intimidation and preventing the media from performing its duties amounts to interfering with the freedoms enshrined in and guaranteed by the Constitution.”