Television

Parliamentary panel wants regulations for media

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MUMBAI: A Parliamentary Committe has called for a favoured statutory regulations for the media as it was concerned over the live telecast of the 60-hour "Operation Black Tornado" conducted by the security forces during the Mumbai terror attack.

The Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions, headed by BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, said in its report presented in the House that live feed of commandos being air-dropped endangered the success of operations and safety of hostages as also the security forces.

"The Committee apprehends that the live footage shown by TV channels to the viewers, could also have been used as free intelligence input by the perpetrators sitting far away from the place of incident who allegedly guided the attackers," it said.

The report further added, "Committee expects the media to treat information of sensitive nature carefully and endeavour to ensure that the interest of nation and lives of security forces and hostages in such type of operations is not jeopardised by live telecasting."

At the same time, it noted that the live coverage was partially restricted later because of "some good sense prevailing with suitable advisories". Needless to mention, self-regulation by media otherwise was not in place, it said.

Self-regulation is an ideal situation but it may not be effective to regulate the media particularly in the scenario of growing competition among the channels for supremacy in the business of ratings, it said.

"The Committee is, therefore, in favour of having statutory regulations in place covering the print and electronic media, in the larger interest of the society, on the model of the Press Council of India vested with more powers," it said.

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