The INDIA alliance will boycott 14 anchors across nine TV news channels for their “communal coverage” and deflection from issues of public interest.
Newslaundry has learned that representatives of the alliance bloc will not appear on the shows of these anchors: Aman Chopra, Amish Devgan and Anand Narasimhan of News18, Aditi Tyagi of Bharat Express, Ashok Shrivastav of DD News, Sudhir Chaudhary and Chitra Tripathi of Aaj Tak, Rubika Liyaquat of Bharat24, Gaurav Sawant and Shiv Aroor of India Today, Prachi Parashar of India TV, Navika Kumar and Sushant Sinha of Times Now Navbharat, and Arnab Goswami of Republic Bharat.
The decision to boycott was taken after the alliance’s first coordination committee meeting on September 13, attended by 12 parties. A member of the media committee confirmed that the channels will be boycotted due to their “communal debates” and on the basis of “how distant their reportage is from the issues of public interest”.
But is the boycott permanent?
The boycotted channels will be “observed over the next few months” and the ban will be withdrawn “if there is improvement”, the committee member told Newslaundry. “In case of no improvement, measures like ban on advertisements for these channels can also be adopted.”
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Both the News Broadcaster Federation and the News Broadcasters & Digital Association issued statements protesting the alliance’s decision.
The NBF, of which Republic is a member, said it “vociferously condemns the undemocratic, Emergency-era directive to boycott 14 select news anchors as part of an undemocratic institutionalised political decision to crush free speech and target the Indian media in a pre-election year”.
The NBDA, which comprises several legacy news organisations, said it was “deeply anguished” by the decision because it “sets a dangerous precedent”. It also said the decision “takes the nation back to the Emergency era”.