Mumbai: The much speculated birth of the junior most Bachchan has a new twist to the story. Apparently an internal memo has been sent to all the leading news channels by the Broadcast Editors’ Association to restrict the coverage of Aishwarya Rai’s delivery.
Ever since Amitabh Bachchan broke the news of Aishwarya Rai’s pregnancy on Twitter, media has been scrutinizing every little detail related to the delivery of the baby.
Perhaps, in an attempt to tone down the coverage on the Bachchan family, the association has issued guidelines to all channels while covering the birth of Amitabh Bachchan’s grandchild.
Some of the guidelines include:
Channels have been instructed to not cover the event before the delivery of the baby.
Story of the birth of the baby to run only after, and on the basis of, official announcement.
Story not to run as a breaking news.
No camera or OB vans at hospital or any other location (like the Bachchans’ homes Pratiksha or Jalsa) are permitted after the baby is born.
Channels will only go for photo-op or press conference if invited.
Channels will not carry any MMS or photo of the child.
No astrology show to be done on this issue.
No 11.11.11 astro shows to be done.
The duration of story to be around a minute/ninety seconds.
Unauthorized entry into hospital not permitted.
Meanwhile, grandpa Big B tweeted that he was unaware of the new guidelines and had not instructed any governing body to issue such instructions to the media. But speculations are rife that Amitabh’s blog postings in recent times prompted the association to issue such directives. In one of his post, dated November 1, Bachchan wrote:
“The entire day and afternoon has been spent in laughing among ourselves and ROTF (Rolling On the Floor) on the ridiculous time and attention being given in the electronic media on the birthday of Aishwarya…all of which is completely and entirely made up,”
The Broadcast Editors’ Association has over three hundred channels as its members, and has sent a memo to all the channels. When contacted by a daily, NK Singh, general secretary of the BEA refused to discuss the media move and just said, “The main purpose (of the guideline) is to make Indian electronic news media more value-based and purposeful for broader public cause. I cannot respond to your email per se but I can only tell you about the sublime purpose which the BEA is seeking to achieve.”
But while the coverage for all channels has been curbed, no such directive has been issued to the print media. The news has received mixed reaction from the media. While some have accepted it, some are of the belief that it is a new form of censorship. One of the broadcaster said, “Is this self regulation or censorship? And why only for this story? Isn’t it ironic that a move which seeks to curb publicity will find a mention in all the newspapers tomorrow?”
Bachchans remained tightlipped about the entire matter, as usual.