Silenced or cut short?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 05/09/2018

Former diplomat KC Singh tweeted on Aug 28 that he was "an independent voice silenced" after a change of editors at The Tribune. "Instead of freedom to write on fixed days on subjects I chose they now invite pieces." He added, "Welcome to Modi’s New India!" That got hundreds of retweets and likes.  The paper responded: "Dear Mr Singh, deeply disturbing and disappointing because no grain of truth in your tweet. You have written 12 articles after change of guard which, in terms of periodicity, is more than what you used to do earlier." The change of guard was in May. Singh's response to that was to say that his last piece (on Vajpayee) had been cut by 300 words. Oh dear.                                  

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The new term for self censorship is voluntary censorship, as proposed by companies like Netflix and Hotstar. ET reports that streaming video service Amazon Prime is opposing a move by its peers to adopt a voluntary censorship code in anticipation of the Indian government coming up with its own rules. Amazon is resisting because it fears that it may alienate paying subscribers.                   

Clearly, the run to the 2019 elections is on. A journalist received a call from someone saying they were from Aajtak channel and were conducting a survey, asking whom she was going to vote for in 2019. On being told that her vote was secret, the caller assumed she wasn't going to vote for 'Modiji'. The caller, a woman, also didn't identify herself. A month or two earlier the same journalist received a call, this time from a man, asking if she was going to vote for the BSP.                 

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