Centre Warns TV Channels Over 'Misleading, Provocative' Coverage Of Delhi Violence, Ukraine War
It was observed that several journalists and news anchors of these channels made 'concocted and exaggerated' statements which were intended to incite its viewers.
New Delhi: Taking exception to television coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the Delhi riots, the centre on April 23 issued strong advisory to news channels asking them to adhere to the programme code laid down by the relevant laws.
Specific instances of exaggerated statements by news anchors and malicious headlines/taglines while reporting on the Ukraine-Russia conflict was cited by the central government.
The centre also pointed fingers at the airing of unverified CCTV footage of the incidents in Northwest Delhi and said that these contents disrupted the investigation process.
It also complained about certain debates on television channels regarding the incidents in northwest Delhi and said that the language used in these programmes were unparliamentary, provocative and socially unacceptable.
The advisory issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry stated that the government expressed serious concerns about the manner in which television channels have carried out their operations in the manner of transmitting content.
It strongly advised the channels against publishing and transmitting any content which violates the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and the rules thereunder.
"No programme should be carried in the cable service which offends against good taste or decency; contains criticism of friendly countries; contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes; contains anything, obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths," states Section 6 of the Programme Code under the Act.
It has been observed that the channels have been making false claims and have misquoted international agencies or actors more often than not in their reportage of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the advisory said.
Apart from using "scandalous headlines or taglines" which has no connection with the news whatsoever, it was also observed that several journalists and news anchors of these channels made 'concocted and exaggerated' statements which were intended to incite its viewers.
The advisory also cited instances of use of taglines or headlines such as 'Parmanu Putin se pareshan Zelenski (Zelenski worried about nuclear Putin), 'Parmanu action ki chinta se Zelenski ko depression' (Zelenski goes into depression over nuclear action), and making of "unverified claims misquoting" international agencies that the third world war has already started.
"One channel aired fabricated pictures claiming to be the proof of the upcoming nuclear attack on Ukraine. This completely speculative news story seems to be intending to misguide the viewers and arouse psychological upheavals inside them," the advisory noted.