MIB had directed news channels to exercise restraint in Mumbai terror coverage: Sharma

MUMBAI: Keeping in mind the public interest and interest of national security, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had directed all the news and current affairs TV channels to ensure that the coverage of the incidents relating to the recent terrorists attack in Mumbai does not focus on or report the location, strength, movement strategy or any related operations being followed by the security forces engaging with the terrorists as it may jeopardize their position.

The channels had also been directed that close-ups and images of blood or seriously wounded or disfigured limbs or bodies or images of dead or seriously wounded people which may seriously distress a substantial number of viewers or cause panic and incite further violence, may not be carried. 

The News Broadcasters Association has prescribed its own self-regulation guidelines and has agreed to incorporate an ‘Emergency Protocol’ to supplement these guidelines to address such concerns.

This information was given by Minister of State for External Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Anand Sharma in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Meanwhile, the Minister said no time limit could be given for implementation of the report of the Committee set up by the Government to review the existing Programmes and Advertisement Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 to containing the adverse effect of programmes and advertisements on viewers, specially children.

The Committee has already submitted its report. This report is available on the website of the Ministry under the heading “Self Regulation Guidelines 2008”.

The Minister also said the Inter-Ministerial Committee on specific violations of the Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Act can either suo motu or on receipt of complaints look into the violations and, thereafter, give its recommendations to the Government, based on which action is taken.

The Minister informed Parliament that under Rule 7(9) in the Advertising Code of the Cable Networks Rules, 1994, the Code for Self Regulation adopted by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has been given due recognition.

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