Second time in a month, Andhra cable operators block four Telugu news channels

After the channels were blocked for the first time on June 6, the Committee to Protect Journalists had urged state leaders to ensure that all broadcasters can operate freely and without censorship.
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For the second time in a month, cable operators in Andhra Pradesh have blocked four Telugu news channels — TV9, Sakshi TV, NTV, and 10TV. According to reports, the channels went off air from June 21, Friday. However, the N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government said that no instructions for blocking channels were given to cable TV operators. 

After the channels were blocked for the first time on June 6, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had called for the immediate restoration of the news channels and urged state leaders to ensure that all broadcasters can operate freely and without censorship.

On June 11, YSR Congress Party’s Rajya Sabha member S Niranjan Reddy called for an investigation into the matter in a letter addressed to the chairperson of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). He alleged that the state’s cable TV operators’ association acted under pressure and directions from the TDP-led government to block these channels without justification or procedural compliance.

“The impact of these actions extends beyond immediate censorship. When news channels are silenced or threatened, it sends a broader message that dissent and scrutiny will not be tolerated, leading to a culture of self-censorship. Journalists and media houses may refrain from covering contentious topics or holding powerful entities to account, resulting in a diminished public sphere where critical voices are muted, and only favourable narratives are allowed to flourish,” Niranjan said in the letter.

Andhra Pradesh IT Minister Nara Lokesh told the Indian Express that leaders from TDP or the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have not instructed anyone to block the news channels. 

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