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Refrain from using scandalous headlines, I&B Ministry tells private channels

The ministry noted and also cautioned private TV channels against broadcasting debates having unparliamentary, provocative and socially unacceptable language

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Observing that the recent television coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the incidents in North-West Delhi violated the programme code, the government today advised private TV news channels against making false claims and using scandalous headlines.

In a detailed advisory, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry called for adherence to the provisions of Section 20 of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

An official release said the ministry has found 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.

The advisory cited the Ukraine-Russian conflict and the incidents in North-West Delhi in particular where TV news content and debates have been found in violation of the Programme Code.

In the case of reporting on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the ministry found channels making scandalous headlines unrelated to the news item and journalists making unsubstantiated and fabricated claims and using hyperbole in order to incite the audience.

In the case of the Delhi violence, certain channels have aired news items with provocative headlines and videos of violence that may incite communal hatred among the communities and disrupt peace and law and order. The channels have further fabricated headlines giving communal colour to actions of the authorities.

The ministry noted and also cautioned private TV channels against broadcasting debates 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.

Citing these instances of violation, the ministry expressed serious concern over the programmes aired and strongly advised against violation of provisions of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the rules under it.