The advisory says that DD and AIR officials should seek approval from the additional director general (marketing) of the Prasar Bharati Secretariat for any media interaction or press briefing. And approval will also be required for other media-related activities, such as on-location shoots, issuing of press releases, or advertisements and hoardings.
DD and AIR insiders have termed the instructions a “gag order”. However, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati defended them, saying the rules were meant to streamline corporate communication at the broadcaster.
He said: “It has come to our notice that random people from both the organisations were talking to the media. In any corporate, communication has to be streamlined and has to follow a proper corporate policy. The advisory issued is part of that. There is nothing unusual about it.”
Many insiders feel that instructions were yet another bid to strip the DD and AIR directorates of their core responsibilities.