New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India has condemned the FIR filed against Tamil News and Infortainment Channel PuthiyaThalaimurai TV and also blacking out of channels through Arasu Cable.
In a statement issued Yesterday, the Guild says, “The Guild is appalled that an FIR has been registered by the TN police against a reporter and the management of PuthiyaThalaimurai, a Tamil news channel under Sec 153 A of the IPC (promoting enmity between groups) and other sections of the law on completely unjustifiable grounds. Subsequently, PuthiyaThalaimurai Channel was shunted from Channel Number 199 to 400 and literally made unavailable to people as it hidden from the Subscribers by moving it away from the News Channel Category to Non classified area.
Other affected television channels have also complained that such blackouts happen after they telecast programmes that were not liked by the Tamil Nadu government, which controls the television channel content distribution agency, Arasu Cable.
Various Media Reports also reveal that many Tamil News Channels were blacked out during the recent Tuticorin Protestors and subsequent violence that resulted in killing of 13 people.
This also has the dangerous potential of undermining the functioning of a free media. The Guild urges the TN Govt to adhere to the recommendations of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India that bar a government from owning a television channel Distribution Company.
The recent behaviors of Arasu Cable stands as a best example of how the government can arm twist the News Media Owners and force them against free and fair coverage of News related to the functioning of Ruling establishment.