Be cautious while broadcasting disturbing, distressing content, Govt tells TV channels

9 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

broadcasting National

Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday issued an advise to all television networks against covering cases of accidents, fatalities, and violence including abuse against women, chi...

Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday issued an advise to all television networks against covering cases of accidents, fatalities, and violence including abuse against women, children, and old in a manner which drastically compromises on “good taste and decency”.

The recommendation was issued in response to many instances of what the ministry described as a lack of judgement by television broadcasters. According to the Ministry, media networks have portrayed dead corpses and photographs or recordings of injured people with blood splashed around them, as well as people, including women, children, and the elderly, being battered viciously in close views.

Furthermore, several TV channels broadcast continuous cries and shrieks of a child being beaten by a teacher, which was shown repeatedly over several minutes, including circling the actions, making it even more heinous, without taking the precaution of blurring the images or showing them from long shots.

The Ministry has noted that most videos are obtained from social media and broadcast without editorial judgement or changes to guarantee conformity and consistency with the Programme Code.
The Ministry emphasised that the way in which such instances are reported is disgusting and disturbing for the viewers.

“‚Ķsuch reports can 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 has underlined,” the ministry said.

Television, being a medium often viewed by families in houses with individuals of all ages – old, middle-aged, and small children – instils a sense of duty and discipline in broadcasters, as established in the

Programme Code and the Advertising Code.
The Ministry also provided many samples of recently aired material.
Concerned about such broadcasts, and in light of the larger public interest involved, as well as the nature of television channel audiences, which include the elderly, women, and children, the Ministry has advised all private television channels to adjust their systems and practises for reporting incidents of crime, accidents, and violence, including death, in accordance with the Programme Code.