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India media fret as conglomerate buys up major news channel

Published on Aug 3, 2014 10:33 AM
A van of media group Network18 is parked outside the Indian parliament in New Delhi on July 16, 2014.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (REUTERS) - Just before Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd completed a deal to take control of media group Network18 Media & Investments Ltd in early July, two top editors stepped down.

In farewell letters to staff, both mentioned press freedoms.

Neither linked their decision to the change in ownership, but news of their resignation prompted heated debate over the significance of one of India's most powerful companies buying up some of the country's leading newsrooms.

On July 7, the Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance is sole beneficiary, completed the acquisition of control of Network18, home to news channels CNN-IBN and CNBC-TV18, Forbes India and, among others.

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