BBC India Now 'Collective Newsroom' As Broadcaster Hives Off News Operations - Vibes Of India

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BBC India Now ‘Collective Newsroom’ As Broadcaster Hives Off News Operations

| Updated: April 7, 2024 17:35

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has separated its newsroom in India, handing over its publishing license to a private limited company founded by Indian employees.
This unprecedented move by the UK public service broadcaster is being related to the last year’s tax searches and FDI questions surrounding it.
The new entity, called “Collective Newsroom,” is established by four ex-BBC employees and will start operations from the coming week.
Less than a year back BBC India operations faced scrutiny from income tax authorities for alleged violations.
Its India offices will now oversee the production of Indian content in seven languages for BBC’s digital services, including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu.
The BBC has submitted an application to the Indian government for a 26 per cent ownership stake in this private limited company, according to reports.
Rupa Jha, Chief Executive Officer of the Collective Newsroom and a former senior news editor at BBC India, said it was unprecedented for the BBC to authorise another entity for publishing, emphasising their commitment to maintaining journalistic integrity with full support from the BBC, as per Indian Express.
The press freedom activists and Opposition leaders have been alleging that the Hindu nationalist government in India is witch-hunting British broadcaster for its documentary film that questioned Narendra Modi’s leadership during the 2002 Gujarat Muslim genocide in which at least 2,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims.
The new FDI rules cast a cloud over the BBC’s operations in India. “There were a number of options before us. Considering that the BBC didn’t want to lose its presence in India or cut jobs, and they didn’t want it to become financially unviable, this forced us to think out of the box. Based on the legal advice the BBC was receiving, everyone was veering towards this as the viable option (of setting up the Collective),” Jha said.
For now, almost 200 employees of BBC India have moved over to the Collective Newsroom.
Said Jonathan Munro, Deputy CEO, BBC News: “The BBC’s presence in India is steeped in a rich history that has always put audiences first, so we warmly welcome the formation of Collective Newsroom which continues that progression.”

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