टीवी 9 मैनेजमेंट का इसपर क्या कहना है
इस मामले में न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री ने टीवी 9 भारतवर्ष के ग्रुप एडिटर बीवी राव से उनकी प्रतिक्रिया मांगी तो उन्होंने इस शर्त पर अपनी प्रतिक्रिया दी कि उनका पूरा बयान जस का तस छपेगा. उनका बयान आप नीचे यहां पढ़ सकते हैं.
Can you please comment on the need to introduce a new social media policy at TV9?
Firstly, it is not a new social media policy. We just modified an existing one as we modify all policies from time to time. Of late, and quite frequently, controversial opinions – even though they are expressed in the personal capacity on social media -- are being ascribed to the organisation just because the persons expressing that opinion are introducing themselves as employees of the group.
The new policy states that "any other post/tweets will need to be pre-approved by a competent authority: namely managing editors of respective channels for all editorial staff, group editor or news director for non-editorial staff and managing editors". Can you please comment on the importance of adding this clause in your policy? Do you believe – as TV9 staffers allege – that it goes against the staffers' right to free speech?
Only if you take one sentence out of context to mount your query.
All employees are free to express their opinions anywhere in their personal capacity. This policy applies only to those employees who wish to use their TV9 Network identity to air opinions on public platforms. As news organisations we have the responsibility to stand by any message we put out in the public domain. Isn’t that why we have hierarchies in news organisations? Will a reporter’s raw copy go through without moderation? Will Newslaundry publish your report without assessing it for standards? Then why should social media posts of journalists/employees -- whose identity is conjoined with that of the organization, not be put through the same filters? Especially when their controversial opinions get misconstrued as that of the organisation’s?
Let us put this differently. If a Newslaundry employee were to put out a tweet proclaiming that “it is time for India to declare itself a Hindu rashtra” and another were to say on the day of Raakhi festival that “people who swear in the name of sisters are celebrating a festival today”, would your editors commend them for the freedom of their (loose) speech? Or would they take steps to ensure that such wantonness is avoided? Those tweets – as many other inappropriate ones -- actually went out recently leading to this necessary correction in the guidelines.
So, no, this is not about restricting free speech of our staffers, it is about saving them and the organization from embarrassment and worse. In the broader context, just like every piece of raw information collected by any journalist goes through content filters in every news organization, we believe anything that goes out into the public domain under the umbrella of the organization must meet the standards of public discourse.
Newslaundry spoke to several TV9 employees. They allege that the new policy is an attempt to turn them into "bonded labourers", and that it is not fair, even ironic, to put journalists through such curbs.
We are a transparent organization and encourage open dialogue. But as a policy, we do not take cognizance of anonymous mails or faceless opinions. More important, we are confident that our journalists/employees see the wisdom behind this exercise of restraint enjoined by the constitution of the country on every media outlet.