New Delhi, May 3 IBNS | 7 months ago

Reacting to the Narendra Modi interview row, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari on Saturday said his ministry does not dominate Prasar Bharati, India's largest public broadcaster.

"The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry is at an arm's length with the Prasar Bharati. It is not dominated by the ministry. Prasar Bharati's autonomy has been guaranteed by an Act of Parliament," Tewari said.

Prasar Bharati comprises Doordarshan television network and All India Radio which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday slammed public service broadcaster Doordarshan over "censoring" of portions of his interview.

"Greetings to journalist friends on World Press Freedom Day. Free press is a democracy's cornerstone & must be preserved in letter & spirit.On days such as this, I feel very sad to see our National TV channel struggling to maintain its professional freedom," tweeted Modi.

"We have witnessed the horrors of Emergency when freedom of press & freedom of expression were suppressed. It is a blot on our democracy," he posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Prasar Bharati's CEO Jawhar Sircar has distanced himself from the issue that Modi's interview on Doordarshan was allegedly 'censored' and said the national broadcaster lacks autonomy.

Sircar has reportedly shot a letter to the members of the Prasar Bharati Board.

In his letter, Sircar has mentioned about Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and said the 'young minister' did not greater autonomy.

In a statement, Doordarshan earlier rejected any wrongdoing and said: " "There was no deliberate editing or omission of any portion of the interview. Wherever editing was done, it was for technical reasons and during post-production. There was no interference or control from any authority in the entire process.Important portions of the interview were used in all the important bulletins of DD News."

"There was no attempt to downplay the interview, rather it was given wide pre-telecast publicity and also repeated the next day, i.e. on 28th April, 2014," it said.

Doordarshan had allegedly edited out certain portions from the Gujarat Chief Minister's interview that was telecast on Apr 27.

(Posted on 03-05-2014)

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