NBA president Rajat Sharma said in a statement: “News Broadcasters Association (NBA) strongly deplores the suggestion by Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi to “impose a complete ban on media advertisements – television, print and online – by the Government and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for a period of two years.”
He added that her demands will demoralise journalists who are risking their lives by performing their duty during the COVID-19 pandemic. “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.”
The President said that electronic media is suffering due to lockdown and slump in advertising. The ban on government ads will further worsen the situation.
Rajat said: “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.”