Prasar Bharati, India’s state broadcaster, told the news agency Press Trust of India on Saturday that its reporting was “not in national interest”.
The message was conveyed in a letter by Samir Kumar, head of Prasar Bharati News Service, who expressed “deep displeasure” with the PTI’s reporting, and added that the state broadcaster would review the “continued relationship” with the news agency after its “recent news reports”.
Two PTI interviews in particular seem to have upset the state broadcaster.
On Friday, PTI Vikram Misri, the Indian ambassador in Beijing, who told the news agency that India hoped China would move “back to its side of the LAC”, referring to the Line of Actual Control in easter Ladakh. Misri’s position contradicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June 20 statement that there has been no Chinese intrusion in Ladakh.
A day earlier, PTI had Sun Weidong, China’s Ambassador to India, who had shifted the onus of the conflict on India. “The onus is not on China. The Indian side crossed the LAC for provocation and attacked the Chinese border troops,” Sun told the news agency.
PTI faced unsavoury jibes on Twitter for its interview with Sun, which it were “unwarranted, unjustified and unfair”.
According to the , Prasar Bharati, one of the biggest subscribers of the news agency, pays it over Rs 6.75 crore in annual subscription.
PTI acknowledged the letter from Prasar Bharati. “We have received a letter from Prasar Bharati this afternoon,” it said in an official response to media outlets. “We are examining it and will respond in due course with the facts,” the news agency said.
Prasar Bharati, it should be noted, has often that projected the Modi government and his BJP in a good light.
The media must be free and fair, uninfluenced by corporate or state interests. That's why you, the public, need to pay to keep news free. Support independent media by subscribing to Newslaundry today.