In the last few months, news channels have “grossly compromised on good taste and decency” in a manner “quite unpalatable to the eyes and ears of a common viewer”, the ministry of information and broadcasting warned today in an advisory issued to private satellite TV channels.
Citing specific instances of news and their coverage by unnamed channels, the ministry said such telecasts have violated the Programme Code under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act and are a “matter of grave concern”.
Examples included a telecast on December 30 of “distressing images and videos” of a cricketer following an accident, referring to Rishabh Pant’s road accident on the Delhi-Dehradun highway. Another on July 6 showed a teacher “brutally thrashing” a child (video footage of ). The list included “distressing gory images” of singer Sidhu Moose Wala, who was killed last May.
“...television channels have shown dead bodies of individuals and images/videos of injured persons with blood splattered around, people, including women, children and elderly being beaten mercilessly in close shots, continuous cries and shrieks of a child being beaten by a teacher, shown repeatedly over several minutes including circling the actions thereby making it even more ghastly, without taking the precaution of blurring the images or showing them from long shots,” the advisory said.
“The manner of reporting such incidents is distasteful, heart wrenching, distressful, indignifying, sensational, thereby offending good taste and decency,” said the advisory. “Such reporting also have an adverse psychological impact on the children. There is also a crucial issue of invasion of privacy which could be potentially maligning and defamatory.”
The advisory concluded by urging news channels to report on issues like violence, crime, accidents and death in conformity with the Programme Code.
This isn’t the first advisory the ministry has issued to news channels, and it won’t be last. TV news had a parade of problems in 2022 – and we took note of it and gave them some awards too. on the Ramnath Roenka Awards.