Indian news broadcasters fix reporting guidelines

NEW DELHI: Facing criticism following the Mumbai terror coverage, Indian news broadcasters have chalked out guidelines on reporting of such events.

The regulations, outlined by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), cover a wide spectrum ranging from national security to accuracy and sting operations.

The new code says live interviews with terror suspects should not be aired by broadcasters. They should not disclose technical details of ongoing operations involving national security.

The guidelines were finalised after a meeting of NBA authority under the chairmanship of Justice (Retd) JS Verma held on 10 February.

The regulations also extend to coverage of issues relating to law and order and crime and violence. According to the guidelines, the content should not glamourise or sensationalise crime or condone criminal actions, including suicide.

Content should also not depict techniques of crime that may tempt imitation, especially with reference to terrorism and suicide. Reports on crime should not amount to prejudging or pre-deciding a matter that is, or is likely to be, sub-judice. And no publicity should be given to the accused or witnesses that may interfere in the administration of justice or be prejudicial to a fair trial.

Identities of victims should not be disclosed in cases of sexual crimes and violence on women and children. Close-ups of dead or mutilated bodies should not be shown, the guidelines state.

Violence must not be depicted solely for its own sake, or for its gratuitous exploitation or to pander to sadistic or other perverted tastes. Moreover, scenes with excessive violence or suffering such as close-up shots of persons being subject to brutality, torture or being killed and visual depiction of such matter should be avoided.

The guidelines specify that subjects promoting horror, supernatural, superstition, occultism, exorcism, divination, and the paranormal which may be frightening to children, should be avoided. And belief in superstition, occultism, exorcism, divination and the paranormal should not be promoted.

Regarding sting operations, the code states that it should only be conducted in public interest and when no other means is available to obtain the requisite information, without any illegality or inducement and subject to the legitimate right to privacy.

Broadcasters should resort to sting operations only if editorially justified, for exposing wrong-doing, particularly of the public facets of people in public life. Also no sting operation should be conducted except with the concurrence of the person overall in-charge of editorial function; and the Managing Director and/or the Chief Executive Officer of the broadcaster should also be kept fully informed of any sting operation. Further sting operations should be so conducted as to obtain 'evidence' of an offence but not to induce 'commission' of an offence.

The guidelines insist on providing privacy while reporting sensitive issues. For example, broadcasters should exercise discretion and sensitivity when reporting on distressing situations, on grief and bereavement. Also, people should not be featured in content in a manner that denigrates or discriminates against sections of the community on account of race, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation¸ occupation, religion, cultural or political beliefs. Content that would cause unwarranted distress to surviving family members, including by showing archival footage, should be avoided.

Additionally no information relating to the location of a person's home or family should be disclosed without permission from the concerned person. Surreptitious recording of any person or event should only be made without committing any illegality and if editorially justified. And, finally, interviews of the injured, victims or grieving persons should be conducted only with prior consent of the persons or where applicable their guardian.

The guidelines also specify on how to report on sex and nudity and how to protect children's interest while airing content which might disturb or alarm them.

Latest Reads
Viacom names Julia Phelps as SVP comm & culture

Viacom Inc. has announced that Julia Phelps has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Communications & Culture. In the newly created role, Phelps will serve on the company’s senior executive team and lead corporate communications, corporate marketing and culture. Most recently, Phelps led...

Television TV Channels People
Star World: Banatwalla, Shah, Hota & Prasad to battle it out in 'Game of Thrones' debate

MUMBAI: With season 7 set to launch soon, Game of Thrones fever has gripped the world yet again with fans speculating to see who will win the Iron Throne and who will die trying. Adding to this electrifying atmosphere, the country’s leading English entertainment channel, Star World will be hosting...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sinclair Broadcast buys Bonten Media in US$ 240m deal

MUMBAI: Sinclair Broadcast Group has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the stock of Bonten Media Group Holdings, and Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the membership interest of Esteem Broadcasting for an...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
DD ex-presenter Pandey honoured in presence of minister & ex-Prez

Former Doordarshan and All-India Radio news reader and presenter Rama Pandey was conferred with the Vishwa Vageshwari Samman for her immense contribution to the arts in an event in Pune.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
Khabar Pakki Hai? verifies viral content on News18 India

MUMBAI: With the exponential growth of social media, innumerable photos, videos and stories are shared every second, but there is no way to check the authenticity of all this content. This results in a lot of misinformation impacting opinion and resultant actions by people believing these false...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Is Sony Pictures getting a raw deal as studios war over Bond rights?

MUMBAI: Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, and 20th Century Fox are among the Hollywood studio majors fighting for the rights to distribute 'Bond 25'. Universal Pictures, Times and Annapurna are also warring for the rights to distribute the forthcoming James Bond movie.

Television TV Channels GECs
Nat Geo and Farhan team up, inspire 'water footprint' reduction

National Geographic is all set to lead the way in its endeavour to go further as a brand and inspire change.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Star World to host first live GoT debate on Facebook

With season 7 set to launch soon, Game of Thrones fever has gripped the world yet again with fans speculating to see who will win the Iron Throne and who will die trying. Adding to this electrifying atmosphere, Star World will be hosting India’s first LIVE Game of Thrones debate on Facebook to...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Futureworks implements HDR and ACES

Post-production facility FutureWorks is the first in India to set up HDR (High Definition Range) grading and mastering. The post-production house recently installed Sony’s Flagship HDR Monitor BVM-X300, staying at the forefront of technology and offering the most premium.

Television Production House Post Production

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories