The Indian Broadcasting Foundation today at a meeting decided that
there is a need to formulate some guiding principles for covering
news for television channels. In the interim, the news channels
would strictly follow the guidelines that have been laid out in
the Cable TV (Networks) Regulation Act and show some restraint while
covering events like terrorist attacks.
The guidelines for the news channels would be formulated as a soon
as possible, after a consensus through consultation process with
IBF members. After its formulation, the guidelines would be sent
to the government.
Today's IBF meeting, attended by news channel heads of various
organisations, were told that the Indian government has requested
the IBF to discuss the issue amongst members through a missive sent
earlier and that a set of guidelines have to be evolved for news
The government provocation came after defence forces allegedly
complained that coverage of some events interfered with their operations.
A case that has been repeatedly brought up by the government to
highlight this is the attack on the Akshardham temple in the state
of Gujarat where terrorists held some devotees captives and the
administration to ransom, before being taken out by commandos during
a rescue mission that lasted over 12 hours.
In this case the defence forces had complained that live coverage
of the rescue mission on television caused inconveniences in carrying
out official duties, especially when it involved human lives.
At today's IBF meeting issues like airing of video that could cause
trauma (like the recently assassinated Gujarat politician Hiren
Pandya's bullet-riddled body) were also discussed.
Those who attended the meeting included Star News president Ravina
Raj Kohli, her deputy Sanjay Pugalia, Sahara Samay's Arup Ghosh
and TV Today Network's news director Uday Shankar.