NBDSA takes action against three TV news channels for violating guidelines on communal issues – The Hindu

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March 02, 2024 04:38 am | Updated 04:38 am IST – NEW DELHI
NBDSA has directed Times Now Navbharat, News18 India and Aaj Tak to remove videos of certain programmes that violated the Code of Ethics and other guidelines. File
The News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has directed three TV news channels to remove videos of certain programmes on communal issues as they violated the Code of Ethics and other guidelines. Penalties have also been imposed on two of them.
With respect to a programme broadcast by Times Now Navbharat on May 31, 2023, the NBDSA had received a complaint alleging that it violated the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards and the principles relating to impartiality, objectivity, neutrality, and accuracy, apart from the Guidelines for prevention of hate speech, anchors conducting programmes, including debates and prevention of communal colour in reporting crime, riots, rumours, and such related incidents.
In the programme, during which the Shraddha Walker murder case was discussed, allegations of “love jihad” had been made. The NBDSA considered the submissions of both parties and concluded that “the anchor incorrectly cited Shraddha Walker as an example of ‘love jihad’. “…the term ‘love jihad’ should be used with serious introspection in future broadcasts as religious stereotyping amounts to a violation of the Code of Ethics,” it said in the murder.
The NBDSA imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh on the broadcaster and also directed it to remove the video from its website, YouTube, and its hyperlinks within seven days.
The second matter involved four programmes broadcast by News18 India in November 2022 on the issues of the Shraddha murder case and alleged “love jihad”. Taking cognisance, the NBDSA decided to admonish the broadcaster, particularly the anchors, and imposed a fine of ₹50,000. It also directed the broadcaster to get the video removed from all online platforms within seven days of the order.
Yet another programme broadcast by Aaj Tak on March 31, 2023, attracted a complaint alleging a violation of the Code of Ethics. It was alleged that in the programme, the anchor failed to mention that a mosque was burnt down in Nalanda, Bihar, that Muslim shops and houses around the mosque were also burnt down, and that the cops did not arrive for several hours while the burning was taking place, and when they did arrive, they misbehaved with Muslim women and looted the houses. “The anchor kept blaming Muslims for the violence,” it was alleged.
The NBDSA held that by broadcasting the impugned programme, the broadcaster had violated the Code of Ethics and the specific guidelines covering reportage relating to racial and religious harmony and the guidelines for anchors to not make any derisive or derogatory statements about individuals, communities or religious beliefs and practices while reporting, commenting, analysing or debating on any issue or topic in any programme/s including debates.
Accordingly, the authority warned the broadcaster to be careful while airing future broadcasts and also directed it to remove the video from all platforms within seven days of the order.
television / television industry / news media
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