I&B Ministry cautions TV channels against telecasting ‘distasteful’ images when reporting crime and accidents


The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Monday issued an advisory to all private TV channels expressing concerns regarding the reporting of incidents of accidents, deaths, and violence in a manner that grossly compromises “good taste and decency.”

Given the nature of the audience of TV channels, which includes the elderly, women, and children, the Ministry has strongly advised all private television channels to ensure reporting incidents of crime, accidents, and violence, including deaths, is done in conformity with the Programme Code.

Lack of discretion

The advisory comes after the Ministry observed several instances where television channels showed a lack of discretion. It was noted that such videos were taken from social media with little effort made to modulate, tune or edit such clips so as to make them compliant with the Programme Code.

“Television channels have shown dead bodies of individuals and images or videos of injured persons with blood splattered around; people, including women, children, and the elderly, being beaten mercilessly in close shots; continuous cries and shrieks of a child being beaten by a teacher, shown repeatedly over several minutes, including circling the actions, thereby making it even more ghastly, without taking the precaution of blurring the images or showing them from long shots. The manner of reporting such incidents is distasteful, heart-wrenching, distressful, indignifying, and sensational, thereby offending good taste and decency,” the Ministry noted in its advisory.

It added that such reporting can have an adverse psychological impact on children. At the same time, the Ministry pointed out an invasion of privacy that could be “potentially maligning and defamatory.”

Stating that such telecast by TV channels are a matter of grave concern, it added that in view of the larger public interest, “all private television channels are strongly advised to attune their systems and practices of reporting incidents of crime, accidents, and violence in conformity with the Programme Code.”

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