Media uninvited to RBI Governor’s presser cries foul

Mumbai, Dec 7 (IANS) Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel’s second media meet on Wednesday created a controversy with a section of the Mumbai media corps complaining they were either not invited or deliberately kept out of the briefing.

Some even took to the social media networks to vent their grouse over being ignored for the much-anticipated event here on Wednesday afternoon.

Among those media persons denied entry to the venue and aggrieved by it was The Economist’s correspondent Stanley Pignal who tweeted: “Amazing stuff. The Economist US no longer invited to the RBI policy meeting press conferences. Won’t let me in. Sad day for transparency.”

Even the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, BBC and certain other global agencies/television channels were allegedly not invited or kept out.

At least one news agency, which has always been invited barring this time, is understood to have formally raised the matter with the RBI.

Mincing no words, Pignal said: “I’ve been critical of the new Governor not speaking to the press, did not expect RBI to freeze us out of press conference. It’s their call obviously.”

He quoted a RBI spokeswoman as saying that the decision to exclude him had nothing to do with The Economist’s critical coverage of demonetisation.

Pignal added it was amazing that from being granted interviews of the (former) RBI Governor in June, it came down to being excluded from press conferences in November without warning or explanation.

Despite repeated attempts by IANS, members of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s official team of spokespersons were not available to give their version of the incident.