The Prasar Bharti is deeply anguished by news agency PTI’s coverage in recent times and is considering withdrawing financial support to the latter over their recent coverage. OpIndia has learnt from reliable sources that Prasar Bharti is greatly displeased with what has been described as ‘anti-national’ reporting.
PTI has apparently been receiving huge fees from the public broadcaster, the fees are said to be in crores and it has been going on since decades. Reportedly, Prasar Bharti pays PTI over RS. 9 crores annually, which is in addition to the amount paid by PIB. Now, sources tell us that PTI’s ‘anti-national’ reporting makes Prasar Bharti believe that it does not make it feasible to carry forward the said relationship.
Sources also tell us that PTI has been averse towards a review of the same since 2016-17. But in light of PTI’s recent coverage, Prasar Bharti has initiated a review of the relationship between the two. We are told that PTI will be informed of the decision soon.
PTI had come under great criticism recently after an interview with Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong. During the interview, the Chinese ambassador blamed India for the clash between the two countries at Galwan Valley. Journalists of other agencies were outraged by the fact that the PTI did not bother to counter-question the Chinese ambassador on his dubious claims. People have also pointed out that the ‘interview’ came across as a press release by the Chinese Communist Party rather than a genuine interview.
The India-China tensions at LAC
Twenty Indian soldiers were martyred during a clash at the Line of Actual Control between India and China. China is believed to have lost significantly more men. The clash was a consequence of aggressive behaviour by China at the LAC, which is consistent with how it has behaved with other countries since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, since then, China has been blaming India for the clash and insists that the clash occurred as a consequence of Indian aggression. It has also claimed through its mouthpieces that US influence on India is to be blamed for it. However, in the interview with the Chinese ambassador, PTI allowed him to propagate his version of events without making an effort to highlight the actual reality of the events that transpired.
Past Incidents of Fake News by PTI
There have been numerous occasions in the past when the PTI has peddled fake news, on certain occasions, even on communally charged matters. Earlier in April, PTI had claimed that one Mehboob Ali was lynched on suspicions of being infected with the coronavirus. However, later it turned out that he was alive.
The PTI has spread fake news on matters of politics as well. Prior to the Delhi Elections in February, PTI had claimed that only 25% of AAP candidates had serious criminal cases against them. But in reality, the number was upwards of 50%.