INDIA GREENS PARTY
IGP requests Prime Minister Modi to save UNI and PTI and their staff from financial crisis
Unchir, Pauri-Garhwal, Uttarakhand, 18 October 2020: The India Greens Party (IGP) today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask the government broadcaster Prasar Bharati to not cancel the news content contracts with the United News of India (UNI) and Press Trust of India (PTI) for the sake of unbiased news dissemination, media democracy, and future of several hundred staff members.
In a petition email to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) today in this regard, the IGP President Suresh Nautiyal said these news organisations have played a crucial role in strengthening democracy in the country and reinforcing the importance of free speech and expression. Therefore, it is very important to save these two strong pillars of the fourth power, and their staff.
The Prasar Bharati had cancelled DD and AIR subscription contracts with UNI and PTI on 15 October 2020. The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Prasar Bharati board, chaired by CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati.
“We are given to understand that the decision was taken to rationalise the DD and AIR’s expenditure on news agencies; however, the move will badly dent free and unbiased journalism in the country,” pointed out Mr Nautiyal, adding that the IGP would like to suggest that Prasar Bharati continue to subscribe to the news content from UNI and PTI and not invite fresh proposals from them.
“It is sad that these news agencies are facing a slow and painful death. The UNI has already been in a financial crisis as leading newspapers groups discontinued its services in the past. In a democracy, it is not good that free speech and expression are curtailed. The move will deliver a big blow to the news agencies and their news gathering operations,” the Green leaders said.
“It would be the end of an era of freedom of the press in the country if the government withdraws its financial support to these two premiere news agencies,” Mr Nautiyal concluded.
-Press Statement issued by the IGP Spokesperson (North) Rafat Jamal.
(India Greens Party is registered with the Election Commission of India under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Registration Number: 56/476/2018-19/PPS-I, effective from 18/07/2019.)
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