Indian Newspaper Society Condemns Sonia Gandhi’s Suggestion To PM To Ban Media Advertisements By GovtRepresentational image: popular Indian newspapers (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

A day after Congress interim president wrote to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi with five-point suggestions, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) on Wednesday (8 April) condemned her for calling for a two-year ban on government’s media advertisements, The Times of India tweeted.

“The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) condemns Sonia Gandhi's suggestion to the Prime Minister for a two year ban on media advertisements by the government and PSUs,” read the tweet by the leading English daily.

The Society, in a press release by its general secretary Mary Paul, said the print media industry was already struggling for its survival.

“Such a proposal tantamounts to financial censorship. The amount of money spent by government on advertising is a small amount as far as government spend is concerned but it is a huge amount for the newspaper industry which is essential for a vibrant democracy, and is struggling to survive,” read the release.

The Congress leader had on Tuesday written to PM Modi with five suggestions from her side to better deal with the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Placing a two-year ban on advertisements in print, electronic, and radio media by the government and the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) was one of them.

Paul further said, “Print is the only industry, which has a wage board and the Government decides how much the employees should be paid. This being the only industry where market forces don’t decide salaries, the Government has a responsibility towards the industry.”

“In the age of fake news and distortion, Print is the best platform to get news and views directly across to the people in every nook and corner of the country, for both - the Government and for the Opposition.”

While appealing to Gandhi to withdraw her suggestion, Paul wrote, “At a time like this when media personnel are risking their lives and bringing news on the pandemic situation, the suggestion of the congress president is deeply disturbing and demotivating for the entire media industry.”

Earlier, media industry bodies such as the Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI) and the News Broadcasters’ Association have already issued their official statements criticising the proposal.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Advertisement