Tamil Nadu

Rollback of action against media sought

From left, Sowmya Anbumani, managing director, Makkal TV; N. Ram, chairman, The Hindu Publishing group; Arun Ram, resident editor, The Times of India; N. Ravi, publisher, The Hindu group; Florent C. Pereira, general manager, Kalaignar TV,in Chennai on Sunday.

From left, Sowmya Anbumani, managing director, Makkal TV; N. Ram, chairman, The Hindu Publishing group; Arun Ram, resident editor, The Times of India; N. Ravi, publisher, The Hindu group; Florent C. Pereira, general manager, Kalaignar TV,in Chennai on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

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Representatives to meet CM over erosion of freedom

A media consultation organised by journalists’ organisations in Chennai on Sunday unanimously adopted a resolution demanding the rollback of “arbitrary and illegal actions against the news media in Tamil Nadu.”

It resolved to send a representative delegation led by N. Ram, chairman of The Hindu group’s publishing company, THG Publishing Private Limited, to call on Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, to register the concerns over the erosion of media freedom in the State and press-related demands.

The consultation also resolved to constitute a cross-media advocacy and action group called the ‘Alliance for Media Freedom,’ which would, in the first instance, monitor the state of media freedom in Tamil Nadu, advocate measures and work out effective action plans to safeguard media freedom and independence through democratic means.

‘Lack of solidarity’

Mr. Ram said it was a bitter truth that there was a lack of solidarity among the media in the face of arbitrary and illegal action by the State. Reading out a statement, Mr. Ram said, “We urge the government to stop using its cable distribution company to censor television news channels and also immediately to withdraw the cases instituted against news channels and journalists, who are legitimately exercising the fundamental right of freedom of speech.”

Mr. Ram also called upon more media and journalists to come under the banner. N. Ravi, publisher of The Hindu, referred to the police registering an FIR against journalists and management representatives of Tamil television news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai in Coimbatore recently for speeches made by participants at a round table discussion organised by it and said that “it is the duty of the State to protect the speaker than silence him.” He also noted that the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 were “vague and against the democratic set-up.”

Sowmya Anbumani, advisor to Makkal TV, said it was also time for media houses, which are defending freedom of expression, to check whether they maintained ethics in journalism.

Resident editor (Chennai) of The Times of India Arun Ram; S. Karthigaichelvan, managing editor of Puthiya Thalaimurai; Florent C. Pereira, general manager of Kalaignar TV; R.C. Swaminathan, general manager of Sathiyam TV; and M.G. Dawood Miakhan, general secretary of Quaide Milleth Educational and Social Trust, also spoke. Senior journalists attended the consultation organised by the Madras Union of Journalists, Centre of Mediapersons for Change and Forum for Media Professionals at the Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies.

Peer Mohamed, founder and CEO of Ippodhu.com, would be the convenor of Alliance for Media Freedom.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 4:52:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rollback-of-action-against-media-sought/article24306700.ece

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