Don’t Defame Or Slander: I&B Min Issues Advisories To TV Channels

The I&B Ministry has issued an advisory to private TV channels to exercise restraint and abide by TV regulations.

2 min read
A file photo of Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory to all private satellite TV channels to adhere to the Programme Code under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995.

This comes amid the revelation of the fake TRP scam by the Mumbai Police on Thursday, 8 October and the Sudarshan TV ‘UPSC Jihad’ show row. Several channels including Republic TV and India Today have come under fire for manipulating their Television Rating Points after the Mumbai Police claimed to have uncovered a racket for this.

Don’t Defame Or Slander: I&B Min Issues Advisories To TV Channels
The advisory brings attention to Rule 6 of the Programming Code, which states that no programme should have “anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths”.

It also prohibits anything that "criticises, maligns or slanders any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public and moral life of the country.”

The advisory also cites the Delhi High Court order, passed on 17 September in response to actress Rakul Preet Singh's petition to stop media reports from connecting her with the alleged drug link connected to Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

The court expressed hope that "media houses would show restraint in their reports and would abide by the cable TV regulations, program code and various guidelines, statutory and self regulatory, while making any reports with regard to the petitioner.”

The Media Circus

The advisory comes in the light of the media circus that played out in the reporting of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, in a race for TRPs.

I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar had slammed TRP driven journalism, in an event in Mumbai.

"We believe in self-regulation and freedom of the media. But the media needs to re-think TRPs. There should be a better way to monitor popularity. Responsible journalism should not suffer due to the pressure of TRPs," Javadekar had said in reference to the kind of reportage that had come out in the “last two weeks or months,” according to IANS.

Earlier, the Supreme Court was also required to regulate media reporting, in the case of Sudarshan News editor in chief Suresh Chavhanke’s show. The SC had restricted the broadcast of further episodes finding that its prima facie object was to “vilify the Muslim comunity” and contained “palpably erroneous” information.

(With inputs from IANS)

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