While covering the Ukraine-Russia war, some news channels have been "making false claims", using "scandalous headlines", and offering "fabricated and hyperbolic statements intending to incite audiences", the I&B ministry warned in an advisory issued today.
On the "recent incident in Northwest Delhi", the advisory specifically flagged coverage that was "disrupting the ongoing investigation process by playing scandalous and unverified CCTV footages" and "showing footages of a specific community thus aggravating the communal tensions".
All this "appear to be violative" of the Programme Code and sections of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, the advisory said.
The advisory said that while covering the war and the recent Jahangirpuri violence in particular, some channels used "unauthentic, misleading, sensational and using socially unacceptable language and remarks, offending good taste and decency, and obscene and defamatory and having communal overtones".
Some of the debates broadcast on news channels "may have a negative psychological impact on viewers and may also incite communal disharmony and disturb the peace at large".
In annexures to the advisory, the ministry flagged examples of coverage and shows that potentially violated the act and the Programme Code.
None of the channels are referred to by name.
But the cited is an April 20 broadcast of Hunkar, which airs on ABP News. As we explained on of Newsance, VHP's Vijay Shankar Tiwari and panelist Shoaib Jamai spent some time calling each other kutta and gunda.
For the second and third debates, YouTube searches of the headlines mentioned in the advisory threw up debates on Republic Bharat and CNBC Awaaz.
The advisory described the second debate as using "derogatory terms and there was also some communal content made during the show".
And the was described as using "instigating comments and derogatory references".
Coverage of the Northwest Delhi incident mentioned "vote bank vs majoritarian politics" that aired on April 19. .
The advisory urged all private satellite TV channels to adhere to provisions of section 20 of the act and the Programme Code.