Television

Centre to set up a media consultative committee

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MUMBAI: The centre is setting up a standing Media Consultative Committee to address the growing concerns over media coverage on crisis situations. Television news channels had been criticised for the way they covered live the terror attacks on Mumbai.

The minister of state for information and broadcasting (I&B) and external affairs Anand Sharma has said that the committee will be chaired by the secretary, information and broadcasting with representatives of key ministries, News Broadcasters' Association (NBA), and editor’s guild as members.

“Extraordinary circumstances require careful coverage, not hampering rescue or counter operations.” he said and added that a training programme is being introduced in consultation with the ministries of home and defence for the media persons on how to cover crisis situations, without exposing themselves to the risks.

Meanwhile, the centre has welcomed the news coverage guidelines formulated by the NBA with respect to coverage of crisis situations. Sharma said, “It is a step in the right direction.”

Sharma stressed upon the need for mature news broadcasting in the country, and said that the Mumbai terror attacks were a learning opportunity both for the Government as well as the media. He said that high level meetings were held between representatives of media and secretaries of key ministries like home, defence, tourism and I&B to agree upon and formulate ethics of news journalism in modern era.

News Broadcasters appreciated the concerns expressed by various security and administrative outfits and agreed to address them, Sharma added.

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