The Republic TV hand

IN Media Watch Briefs | 05/09/2018

Some seven weeks before today's arrest of lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj and other activists, allegations made in a programme on Republic TV aired defamatory and unattributed charges against her calling her Comrade Sudha, showing a letter which she had purportedly sent. Anchors on the channel called her and others 'urban naxals' and alleged links between Maoists and Kashmiri militants and a plot to kill the PM. Bhardwaj had issued a statement right away refuting all allegations and saying that she found it curious "that a document purporting to contain evidence of such serious crimes should first surface in the studio of Arnab Goswami.” Interviews with her refuting the charges are here and here.                            

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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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