Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Issues Strong Advisory to TV Channels

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After last week’s coverage of the violence in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and certain news debates, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (IB) issued a strong advisory to all private television channels. The ministry criticized the coverage for being unauthentic, misleading, sensational, and using socially unacceptable language, offending good taste and decency, being obscene, defamatory, and having communal overtones. While specific instances were listed in the advisory, no channel was named. The ministry warned TV channels not to repeat such mistakes in the future.

Regarding the violence in Jahangirpuri, the IB advisory criticized channels for using provocative headlines and videos that could incite communal hatred and disrupt peace. They also mentioned the use of scandalous and unverified CCTV footage which could disrupt ongoing investigations, and footage that aggravated communal tensions. The ministry highlighted specific headlines from certain channels, such as “Who is the enemy of peace in Delhi?” and “Big conspiracy of riots, Karauli, Khargone via Delhi.”

The advisory also mentioned a news debate titled “vote bank vs majoritarian politics” which aired on April 19. Citing Section 6 (1) (c) of the Programme Code, which bars criticism of friendly countries, the advisory criticized channels for making false claims and misquoting international agencies regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict. One channel was specifically called out for misquoting international agencies and sensationalizing the situation.

The ministry expressed concern over channels using unparliamentary, provocative, and socially unacceptable language, as well as making derogatory remarks that could negatively impact viewers and incite communal disharmony. They advised channels to refrain from transmitting content that violates The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and its rules.

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