On October 24, 2020, the NBA or News Broadcasters’ Association issued a press release where they express deep sadness over the events in Mumbai.
NBA slams victimization of journalists and criticizes Republic TV
It said that the way events have unfolded in Mumbai due to the clash between Republic TV and Mumbai Police have disturbed them. They expressed concern that the turn of events in Mumbai is posing a threat to the credibility and respect for the two great institutions, media, and the police. They have expressed concern that journalists working in the newsroom have become victims of this conflict.
The NBA has also mentioned that they do not approve of the kind of journalism that Republic TV practices. And that even though Republic TV is not a member of the NBA and does not subscribe to their Code, they still take strong exception to cases filed against its editorial staff. NBA stands for the freedom of speech and expression of the media as enshrined in the Constitution of India. At the same time, they endorse the practice of ethics in journalism. And that they will put fair and balanced reporting at the core of what they report upon.
The press release stated that the News Broadcasters’ Association reprehends any attempt to target journalists doing their work in newsrooms. But, on the other hand, they disapprove of any vengeful reporting by media. NBA condemns the reporting of baseless stories which subverts and interferes with the functioning of the law enforcement agencies.
The NBA also appealed the Mumbai Police to make sure that no journalists are caught in this crossfire. They also appealed to journalists working with Republic TV not to cross the Lakshman Rekha as clearly observed by the Bombay High Court.
In addition, it also said that the NBA once again reiterates that it does not support toxic content and unethical journalism. And that the independent regulatory body, NBSA, headed by (Retd.) Justice A.K. Sikri governs the News broadcasters. They have noted that NBSA has played an extremely important role in monitoring the content of news channels. It has acted against well-known national and regional broadcasters by leveling fines, apologies, and warnings in several matters. This also includes the coverage of the death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. NBA also requested the non-member broadcasters to follow the Code of Ethics and Guidelines of NBSA.
The News Broadcasters’ Association also expressed serious concern at the open-ended FIR registered by the UP police against media for alleged TRP manipulation. They have expressed doubts about the intentions. These doubts come regarding the speed with which the UP police transferred the cases to CBI overnight. A complaint filed against unknown persons by an individual who has no locus standi may lead to a witch-hunt against the media, its advertisers, and advertising agencies. They sincerely urged the government to immediately withdraw the case referred to CBI.
The press release said that BARC has a mechanism to deal with such cases. An internal competent body headed by (Retd.) Justice Mukul Mudgal is capable and empowered to look into cases related to TRP data tampering. They have mentioned that this authority should be transferred all cases related to TRP manipulation.