Has TV news ever been free from govt control in TN?
Has TV news ever been free from govt control in TN?(Photo: iStock)
  • 1. Freedom of Press a Myth in TN?
  • 2. Precedences
  • 3. Government-Backed Cable and Broadcasting
  • 4. Government-Owned Cable and Broadcasting
  • 5. Only TV Media, or Is All of TN’s Press Controlled?
  • 6. Press or People – Whose Freedom is on the Line?
What Press Freedom? Government Has Always Controlled TV News in TN

In what is seen as an unprecedented and shocking move, the TN government-owned Arasu Cable down-ranked Puthiya Thalaimurai, a Tamil language news channel from the 120s to 499. FIRs were filed against the channel and one of the guests in a talk show aired by it.

Is this yet another knee-jerk reaction by the government to curb voices of dissent, like it did with the Sterlite protesters? Is the TN government’s control over television media in the state absolute? And does it spread to the press and people?

To begin with, the blacking out (and later, down-ranking) of Puthiya Thalaimurai isn’t unprecedented.

  • 1. Freedom of Press a Myth in TN?

    Puthiya Thalaimurai, a Tamil news channel, has been pushed by the state-controlled Arasu Cable, from a channel in the 120s to 499. All thanks to a talk show on 'development in Tamil Nadu', which discussed the government's handling of the anti-Sterlite protests, among other things.

    The Chief Minister of TN Edappadi Palanisamy defended this move, as also the government's decision to file FIRs against the guest (director Ameer) and the channel under section 153 (A) and 505 on charges of promoting enmity between different communities, and different groups on the basis of religion.

    Journalists and the public are seeing this as a lockdown on the freedom of the press, specifically TV news media in Tamil Nadu.

    Too busy to read? Listen to the story here.


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