The Ayodhya district administration asked news heads of electronic media channels to give an undertaking for the coverage of the bhumi pujan in Ram temple in Ayodhya next week, . The undertaking must declare that they wouldn’t call any “controversial party” for debates. Further, the litigants in the Ayodhya land dispute case should not be called on any programme.
The advisory further states that the channels should ensure no comments are made on any religion, sect or individual.
The undertaking says that news channels will have to take “prior permission” and security forces will be present at the venue to keep a check and channels will have to “strictly follow Covid-19 protocols”.
According to the , news channels will be required to take permissions under nine heads. The undertaking also says that heads of the channels will be held responsible for maintaining law and order.
Deputy Director, Information, Murli Dhar Singh told Indian Express, “Media would have no problem covering the event, all the arrangements are being made. There would be a separate media centre, and live telecast. In order to maintain law and order and considering Covid, news channels would have to take prior permission and ensure there is no public gathering, there are no controversial statements and that proper protocol is maintained.”
It should be remembered that India's news channels were out for blood in the run-up to the Ayodhya verdict last year. From fanning communal hatred to being downright inflammatory, TV news violated the News Broadcasting Standards Authority’s advisory for covering the lead-up to the Ayodhya verdict. Read our Bloodlust TV series for more.