IB ministry issues advisory to TV channels on Delhi violence, Russia-Ukraine war

Representational image

Representational image

The government on April 23 advised television channels to refrain from broadcasting “violative” content, “provocative headlines” and videos of violence, as it cited coverage of the Ukraine war and recent violence in northwest Delhi.

The ministry of information and broadcasting advisory said private TV channels’ reporting on recent violence in northwest Delhi had provocative headlines and videos of violence that could incite communal hatred and disrupt peace and law and order.

It also said private TV channels were making false claims and frequently misquoting international agencies while reporting the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

TV channels should refrain from publishing and transmitting any content which is violative of the provisions of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the rules, it said.

No programme should be carried in the cable service that offends good taste or decency, contains criticism of friendly countries, attacks religions or communities and contains anything, obscene or defamatory, the advisory said.

The ministry also listed instances related to the Russia-Ukraine war and said a channel aired a news item “Ukraine mein Atomi Hadkamp” on April 18 during which it mentioned that Russia was planning a nuclear attack on Ukraine.

“It further sensationalised the situation and mentioned that the attack will happen in the coming few days. The report misquoted international agencies also,” the advisory said.

Citing another incident, the ministry said a channel indulged in war-mongering, continued to air baseless speculation that can infuse fear in the minds of viewers as it claimed that Russia had given a 24-hour deadline for the nuclear attack on Ukraine.

The advisory also mentioned the coverage of the recent violence in Jahangpuri to mark Hanuman Jayanti. “A channel repeatedly carried a video clipping of a man belonging to a specific community carrying a sword. Channels claim that this video depicts that it was pre-planned to spread violence in a religious procession,” said the ministry.

The ministry had issued several advisories to the satellite TV channels to adhere to the Programme Code read with The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

“Sub-section (2) of Section 20, inter alia, provides that the Central Government may, by order, regulate or prohibit the transmission or retransmission of any channel or programme, if it considers it necessary or expedient to do so in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India; or security of India; or friendly relations of India with any foreign State; or public order, decency or morality,” said the ministry.

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