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Fresh advisory to TV channels on covering terror incidents

Taking a serious view of some TV channels airing interviews of terrorists, the government on Wednesday issued a fresh advisory to the electronic media to exercise caution while covering incidents of terror attacks.



New Delhi: Taking a serious view of some TV
channels airing interviews of terrorists, the government on Wednesday
issued a fresh advisory to the electronic media to exercise
caution while covering incidents of terror attacks.

"This is in continuation of the directives issued by the
Information and Broadcasting Ministry on November 27, 2008 and
December 3, 2008, regarding the coverage of incidents by
electronic media during terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
"In the said directive, TV channels were asked to
exercise caution while providing coverage to the incidents to
avoid any adverse consequences on the rescue operations," the
advisory from the ministry said.

It said "... in the past some TV channels arranged and
telecast interviews with terrorists/terrorist groups. In a
particular case, a prominent TV channel telecast a phone
interview with a dreaded terrorist who tried to
internationalise the Kashmir issue using the electronic mass
media. This kind of coverage can cause confusion among
domestic and international audiences."

In this scenario, the advisory said "such undue
coverage to terrorists and allowing them to air their views
freely can jeopardise national security as well.

"This matter has been under examination in the I&B
ministry and in the Ministry of Home Affairs and government
has taken a very serious view regarding airing of interviews
with terrorists/terrorist groups by TV channels".

The advisory said while the media has "generally
played a constructive role in bringing out relevant issues
regarding terrorism and has condemned terrorists for their
brutal and ruthless ways, it must, however, be again
emphasised that media must continue to cover terrorism and
terrorist related issues with great responsibility and
sensitivity".
The advisory said, "in the interests of national
security and on the advice of Ministry of Home Affairs, the
media is, here by, advised to avoid giving undue coverage to
terrorists and terrorist groups which may help them to advance
their political agenda".

It said, "such coverage would amount to gross violation
of the provisions of the Programme Code contained in the Cable
Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and Rules framed
thereunder".

PTI

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