New Delhi: With controversies related to the
defence establishment emerging one after another, the News
Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has advised Television news channels to report responsibly on sensitive matters
related to national security.
In a letter to all its members, the NBSA, which is a
self-regulatory body set up by the TV news channels, has said
that in the last few days its member channels had been
reporting on issues relating to the defence establishment.
"It must be appreciated that most defence related matters
are highly sensitive since they impinge upon national security
and relations with foreign states," the NBSA letter said.
"In view of such sensitivity, while reporting matters
relating to the defence establishment care must be taken by
the member broadcasters not to air sensitive communications or
any information relating to the armed forces, their officers,
the administration and ancillary matters," the letter added.
The NBSA said a Code of Ethics and Specific Guidelines,
were to be observed while reporting on issues relating to
The letter said as per the guidelines, news channels were
expected that in the use of any terminology or maps, that
represent India and Indian strategic interests, all news
channels will use specific terminology and maps mandated
by law and Indian government rules.
News channels will also refrain from broadcasts that
encourage secessionist groups, or reveal information that
endangers lives and national security, the NBSA said.
However, the NBSA letter made it clear that "it is in the
public interest to broadcast instances of breach of national
security and loopholes in national security and reporting
these cannot be confused with endangering national security."