On The Listening Post this week: Testing times as police raid India's liberal NDTV station. Plus, the media wars between Russia and Belarus.

India's NDTV Raided: Politics, patriotism and the press

No country has more TV news channels than India. And one of them says it's under political attack for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

When India's NDTV network was raided on June 5, government officials said it was part of a financial investigation, but the channel's directors called it a thinly disguised witch-hunt, an attack on press freedom orchestrated by Modi's BJP party.


Anuradha Dutt, lawyer, NDTV
Madhu Trehan, editor, Newslaundry
Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor, The Wire
Mrinal Pande, chairperson, The Media Foundation
R Jagannathan, editorial director, Swarajya magazine

On our radar:

• In Egypt, as many as 64 news websites have been blocked, including some of the country's few remaining critical outlets.

• As the diplomatic rift in the Gulf deepens, the state of Qatar and the media outlets it sponsors, including Al Jazeera, continue to be targeted by GCC and other Arab countries - actions that Human Rights Watch has called "a blow to free speech". Israel also appears to be backing the GCC blockade against Qatar and Al Jazeera.

Chelsea Manning, the American soldier responsible for the biggest leak of classified documents in US history, has spoken out for the first time since leaving prison.

Russia and Belarus: Media battles

The Russian state-controlled media has its usual Western targets. But occasionally, it sets its sights on its neighbour Belarus.

Minsk and Moscow have been allies for years, but a recent spat over energy subsidies and Russia's campaign in Ukraine have made relations fragile.

The two countries have made peace for now, but the Kremlin's media machine has become increasingly uncomfortable for Belarus' leader Alexander Lukashenko, not least because of its significant influence over the Belarusian media landscape.


Dzianis Melyantsou, senior analyst, Belarus Institute of Strategic Studies
Amy MacKinnon, senior editor, Coda Story
Michal Janczuk, former Minsk bureau chief, Belsat TV
Andrei Bastunets, head, Belarusian Association of Journalists

Source: Al Jazeera