It is ironical that the channel whose sister channel recently came out with a peculiar editorial policy favoring national security over journalism has been banned for transgressing national security while reporting. This is a very important question. Should journalists even care about national security?
A well-known journalist (cum a rumoured RAW spokesman), who often appears in these news channels, once mocked Pakistan for running ads in newspapers seeking counterintelligence information about RAW agents. Of course, a RAW spokesman should mock it but should a journalist mock it too? Well…they did it too. And I won’t blame them because they have been illusioned by intelligence agencies into believing nothing comes above national security, and journalism should take a back seat when the intelligence agents report — though, ironically, they compete for the same intelligence/news. But give it a thought. Why should there be any intelligence officer at all? Why shouldn’t every intelligence, whatsoever, be in newspapers as news? BTW, as per a book written by an ex-RAW agent, RAW relies heavily on publicly available news for its intelligence needs in the case of China. As I understand as a layman, that’s what the role of a journalist is; i.e., to bring out the truth irrespective of repercussions. What gives them the right to hide information from the public in favour of some self-assumed guardians? Has any journalists ever reported how these intelligence officers infringe the right to life, including privacy, of people! Or, for that matter, has any journalist ever taken the dare to expose these intelligence agents who penetrate journalism like termites! Their dare is limited to dancing on streets wearing third gender clothes.
Well…I do support NDTV against this ban, but I am not sure how many of them might be intelligence agents themselves. Being on this side of the divide definitely doesn’t mean ignoring penetration of intelligence agents into journalism. The journalists should have opposed amendment in Cable TV Network Rules, 1994, adding a new clause, 6(1) p, prohibiting TV channels from carrying content “which contains live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation by security forces, wherein media coverage shall be restricted to periodic briefing by an officer designated by the appropriate Government, till such operation concludes”. The fact that they didn’t oppose the amendment shows their respect towards their profession vis-à-vis towards the intelligence agents who penetrate them. At least now NDTV 24×7 needs to apologize for announcing such an obnoxious editorial policy favoring national security over everything else.
Copyright 2016 Ankur Mutreja
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