The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on Tuesday "strongly deplored" Sonia Gandhi''s suggestion of imposing a ban on media advertisements by the government and PSUs for two years, saying the Congress president''s call was "highly demoralising" for media personnel.
"At a time when media personnel, without fearing for their lives, are doing their national duty, by disseminating news on the pandemic, a statement like this from the Congress President is highly demoralizing," said NBA President Rajat Sharma.
Sonia Gandhi has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and suggested measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the country. A complete ban on media advertisements is one of her suggestions. NBA President Rajat Sharma took an objection to this.
"On one hand there has been a slump in advertisement revenues of electronic media due to recession, on the other hand it is suffering from financial blows due to nationwide lockdown of all industries and businesses. Moreover, news channels are spending heavily on providing safety to their reporters and production staff. To suggest a "complete ban" on government and PSU advertisements is not only ill-timed, but highly arbitrary," said Sharma.
The NBA, in its statement called upon Sonia Gandhi to withdraw her remarks.
"NBA calls upon Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi to withdraw her suggestion made to the prime minister about "complete ban" on media advertisements for two years in the interest of a healthy and free media," said the statement.