India: IJU concern over NDTV takeover bid by Adani29 Aug, 2022
Watching ongoing developments, the Indian Journalists Union expresses serious concern over the hostile takeover bid of NDTV, one of the few independent media houses that dare defending truth in the country, by the Adani group. More so, as the broadcaster has challenged the indirect acquisition as claimed without ‘discussion, consent, or notice of NDTV founders.’
The corporate group of Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, had early this week indirectly acquired 29.18% stake in the broadcaster through VCPL and worse has followed it by an offer to buy out a another 26% controlling stake. However, founders of NDTV, Prannoy and Radhika Roy have challenged the takeover bid asserting that Sebi approval is necessary, but the Adani group has rejected the claim.
In a statement, IJU President and former member of Press Council of India Geetartha Pathak and Secretary General and Vice President, International Federation of Journalists, Sabina Inderjit said the move by the Adani group is calculated to undermine editorial independence at NDTV, which has been critical of the Modi government. The union feared the corporate takeover has the potential to further change the already polarised media landscape in the country.
Recalling that one of India’s largest media companies–Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd, was taken over by the Ambani group in 2014, the IJU said that over the years big business interests have influenced coverage of news and the public is increasingly being denied of its right to information, objective information.