Centre Expresses ‘Serious Concern’ About Coverage Of Ukraine-Russia Conflict, Delhi Violence

New Delhi: The Union government has taken exception to television coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the recent violence in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri.

In an advisory issued on Saturday, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has asked TV channels to immediately refrain from publishing, transmitting content violative of Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act.

The ministry pointed out that in the recent past, several satellite TV channels “have carried out coverage of events and incidents in a manner which appears to be unauthentic, misleading, sensational and using socially unacceptable language and remarks, offending good taste and decency, and obscene and defamatory and having communal overtones, all of which appear to be violative of the Programme Code and infringement of the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the aforementioned Act.”

“In particular, attention is invited to reporting on Russia-Ukraine conflict, certain incidents in North-West Delhi and of certain news debates,” it noted.

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Objections Raised On Coverage Of Russia-Ukraine Crisis, Jahangirpuri Violence & ‘Provocative’ Debates

On the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting observed that “Channels have been making false claims and frequently misquoting, International agencies/actors.” “Use of ‘scandalous headlines/taglines’ that are completely unrelated to the news item. Many of the journalists and news anchors of these channels made fabricated and hyperbolic statements intending to incite the audiences,” it stated.

On the Jahangirpuri violence, the Centre noted that the media coverage included “Provocative headlines and videos of violence that may incite communal hatred among the communities and disrupt peace and law and order, disrupting the ongoing investigation process by playing scandalous and unverified CCTV footages, showing footages of a specific community thus aggravating the communal tensions” and “fabricated headlines sensationalising and giving communal colours to the actions of authority.”

As for debates, the I&B Ministry objected to shows having “unparliamentary, provocative and socially unacceptable language, communal remarks and derogatory references which may have a negative psychological impact on viewers and may also incite communal disharmony and disturb the peace at large.”

“Some are also found to be disrespectful, passing on insulting remarks or giving reference to the different religions or faiths or their founders,” it stated.

Govt ‘Strongly Advises’ Channels To Follow Rules

The I&B Ministry’s advisory mentioned specific shows as it objected to “warmongering” and “sensational claims of Nuclear war” based on misreporting, unverified and incorrect news as well as fabricated pictures.

Specific programmes on the Delhi violence and other debate shows have also been called out.

The Government expressed serious concern about “the manner in which the television channels have gone about their operations in the matter of transmitting content”.

The channels have been “strongly advised” to immediately refrain from publishing and transmitting any content which is violative of the provisions of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. 

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