Govt issues advisory on coverage of Mumbai terror attack anniversary

MUMBAI: Ahead of the first anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory to all television channels urging them to do "balance" and "responsible" reporting which showing programmes on the incident.

The Ministry has said that as the investigation and trial of the terror attacks in Mumbai are in progress, there is need for balanced coverage.

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the terror attacks in Mumbai on 26 November 2009, the Ministry expects channels to show special programmes, news items, talk shows and interviews to highlight the incidents of last year.

“Replays of disturbing visuals showing scenes of blood and gore or images of dead or seriously wounded or the emotional distress of victims/hostages and their families may bring back dreaded memories of the tragic incident and may indirectly fulfill the basic design of the terrorists to spread fear and insecurity in the minds of people,” the advisory said.   
  The media has been advised to keep in mind the contents of the communication while telecasting programmes in connection with the anniversary of Mumbai terror attacks.

The government had issued directives on 27 November and 3 December last year to media, regarding the coverage of the terrorist attack, in which TV channels were asked to exercise caution while covering the incidents to avoid any adverse impact on the rescue operations.

The advisory noted that while the media has “always been in the forefront of the crusade against terrorism by building strong public opinion and consensus against the senseless acts of terrorists”, it is necessary to continue to display “a high degree of maturity and sensitivity” while covering events of terror and terror related issues.

“Perhaps the occasion could be used to reiterate India’s commitment to fight terror and our continuing resolve to effectively counter any acts of terror against the country,” the Ministry communiqué added.

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