Media bodies equate NewsClick’s Chinese funding with portals aligned with Indian govt
New Delhi: Several media associations on Wednesday said the accusations levelled by political leaders against NewsClick suggesting that the portal serves as a mouthpiece of a neighbouring country were “unwarranted and condemnable”.
“While NewsClick, like other media outlets, critically examines government actions, this does not render it unpatriotic or a tool of any foreign nation,” a statement by Press Association, Press Club of India, Delhi Union of Journalists and Indian Women Press Corps said.
Expressing deep concern over the alleged “targeted campaign”, they said if sources of funding of NewsClick were under scrutiny, the same transparency should extend to portals “aligned with the establishment”.
“It is imperative for the interests of complete transparency that the sponsors and funding sources of all such portals be disclosed. Without such disclosure, the recent actions targeting NewsClick could rightly be characterised as a witch-hunt,” the media bodies said.
NewsClick is again in the spotlight after a New York Times report claimed that the news portal was part of a global network that received funding from American billionaire Neville Roy Singham, who allegedly works closely with the Chinese government media machine.
Citing the report, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday said India had been telling the world since 2021 that NewsClick was a dangerous global network of “Chinese propaganda” that was spreading fake news.
The news portal and its promoters, including its founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha, were raided by the Enforcement Directorate in September 2021.