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NBSA advises news channels to use social media content after thorough verification

The advisory comes in the wake of the recent supreme court order

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MUMBAI: The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has advised member broadcasters of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) to verify any content used from social media platforms in their news programmes at the highest editorial levels before being telecast in the wake of the recent supreme court order regarding news related to Covid19 coverage.

“In particular, we expect the media (print, electronic or social) to maintain a strong sense of responsibility and ensure that unverified news capable of causing panic is not disseminated. A daily bulletin by the government of India through all media avenues including social media and forums to clear the doubts of people would be made active within a period of 24 hours as submitted by the solicitor general of India. We do not intend to interfere with the free discussion about the pandemic, but direct the media to refer to and publish the official version about the developments,” the apex court stated.  

NBSA said under these circumstances member broadcasters could also consider telecasting the positives steps being taken by various individuals/ persons/ entities / governments and all medical personnel in order that objective, balanced, accurate and impartial news gets telecast.  

It also added that the issue that the supreme court has touched upon relates to “fake news” whether intended or not, published either by electronic, print or social media which will  cause panic in the society. The court observed that the media should maintain a strong sense of responsibility and ensure that unverified news capable of causing panic is not disseminated.

“News media plays a critical role during public health emergencies by providing reassurance, bringing calm, motivating people to overcome the crisis and in bringing their lives back to normal. Inaccurate information can lead to rumours and misinformation, resulting in panic and chaos,” the advisory highlighted.

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