NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on Saturday advised private television news channels to do away with “provocative”, “sensational” coverage of the Jahangirpur violence and the Ukraine war, and to avoid “socially unacceptable language”.
In a fresh advisory, the ministry asked television channels to follow The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 including the Programme Code that governs the broadcast of channels.
“It has been found that in the recent past several Satellite TV channels have carried out coverage of events and incidents in a manner which appears to be unauthentic, misleading, sensational and using socially unacceptable language and remarks, offending good taste and decency, and obscene and defamatory and having communal overtones, all of which appear to be violative of the Programme Code,” the ministry has said.
The ministry said that channels have been found making false claims and frequently misquoting international agencies/actors in respect to reporting on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“Many of the journalists and news anchors of these channels made fabricated and hyperbolic statements intending to incite the audiences,” the advisory observed.
Similarly, in the recent incident of communal violence in North-West Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, the coverage by the TV channels included “provocative headlines” and videos of violence that, the ministry said, “may incite communal hatred among the communities” and disrupt peace and law and order.
“It was also observed that in the news, some of the channels broadcast debates having unparliamentary, provocative and socially unacceptable language, communal remarks and derogatory references which may have a negative psychological impact on viewers and may also incite communal disharmony and disturb the peace at large,” the ministry added.
The government also listed reports aired by news channels that the ministry found objectionable.
Listing examples of news reports that it flagged, the ministry said, “Another channel indulged in warmongering continues to air factless speculations to an extent that had the tendency to infuse fear in the minds of viewers as it claimed that Russia has given 24 hours deadline for the Nuclear attack on Ukraine.”
“Government expresses serious concern about the manner in which the television channels have gone about their operations in the matter of transmitting content and are hereby strongly advised to immediately refrain from publishing and transmitting any content which is violative of the aforementioned provisions of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the rules thereunder,” the ministry concluded.