I&B ministry issues advisory to news channels; plans changes in Cable TV Act

MUMBAI: Information and Broadcasting ministry has issued an advisory to all the private news channels, to exercise restraint while airing news related to Mumbai terror attacks and its subsequent developments.

Appreciating the efforts of the media for covering the attacks, the ministry has cautioned news channels to “exercise some degree of caution and restraint as a mark of respect to those who have died in the terror strikes,” PTI quotes a senior official of the Ministry as saying.

“Though we appreciate the maturity shown by the Indian media while broadcasting last week’s terror attacks, through the advisory issued we have appealed to them that by repeatedly showing the visuals of the carnage, they are inadvertently harming the sentiments of those affected by it,” the official adds.

The advisory has been sent to the channels only to give them a message that they should be a bit more considerate in their coverage of the incident even though they have shown a lot responsibility.

It was learnt initially that the Ministry may take some decisions regarding further tightening of the cable laws. However, Ministry sources said that considering the responsible role of media, they just decided to issue an advisory.

Meanwhile, the ministry is tightening laws governing cable television broadcast, for which it is planning to introduce changes in Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.

In the backdrop of India TV getting a notice from the ministry last week for airing a telephonic conversation with a couple of terrorists involved in the attack, ministry officials held a series of long meetings chaired by I&B secretary Sushma Singh to discuss the pros and cons of amending the Cable TV Act in order to bring private television channel coverage under stricter supervision.

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