In a fallout from the leakage of the tapped phone conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, the Tata group has asked executives in its companies to avoid cooperating in news stories of several major publications and television channels, including Open, The Pioneer, and Outlook, and publications that are part of either the India Today Group or Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd, according to a Mint newspaper report.
The group is obviously irate with what it sees as negative coverage of Tata Sons Ltd chairman Ratan Tata, and of the group's communications adviser and lobbyist Radia.
The newspaper says a senior executive at a large Tata group company confirmed that there had been a verbal instruction to this effect.
Another senior executive at Radia's firm said there is ''an understanding in the group'', but ''nothing in writing yet''; but admitted that the instruction covers the publications and channels listed above. Neither executive wanted to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.
Christabelle Noronha, chief (group corporate affairs) at Tata Sons, said there is ''no such policy'' or ''ban'', but again admitted that there has been an instruction to group companies to not participate in news stories being done by the offending publications and channels.
''We have expressed our unhappiness on the biased reporting by some sections of the media on the group and have asked our companies to re-evaluate their engagement with these organisations,'' she said.