TV Body Issues Guidelines For Reporting Ayodhya Issue

by GoNews Desk 7 months ago Views 1052
Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute
The daily hearings in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya ends at 5 pm on Wednesday after which a 5-Judge Bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, is to deliberate and prepare a judgement within the next few weeks. In view of the highly sensitive nature of the case,  private news channels body, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), has issued some guidelines to be exercised during reporting or discussion of the matter.

“You will appreciate that the reporting of the Ayodhya issue being heard by the Hon’ble Supreme Court is one such matter in which extra care and caution need to be exercised to ensure that the telecast of any news relating to it should not be sensational, inflammatory or provocative. The basic guideline to be adhered to during telecasting news is respect of the above issue is that all such news should conform strictly to subserving the public interest of maintaining communal harmony and preservation of the secular ethos of the country,” the TV news body said.

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It is, therefore, necessary that all news broadcasters should not only ensure strict compliance of the guidelines but should also ensure that no occasion arises for any speculation about the accuracy, neutrality and impartiality of the content, the NBSA added.

The guidelines are as follows:

1. No broadcast should be made in any speculative manner in respect of the present proceedings before the Hon’ble Supreme Court nor of the judgement before it is pronounced; and of its likely consequence thereafter which may be sensational, inflammatory or provocative.

2. No news in relation to the present proceedings pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court shall be broadcast unless the reporter and/or editor have adequately ascertained the accuracy, authenticity and correctness of what is reported, preferably from Court records, or at the very least, by being personally present during such proceedings.

3. For clarity and adherence, it is emphasized that programmes/telecast should not speculate on issues relating to the Ayodhya judgement or its repercussions.

4. No footage of the demolition of the Babri Masjid is to be shown in any news item relating to the Ayodhya matter.

5. No visuals need be shown depicting celebration or protest by persons in respect of the Ayodhya matter.

6. In view of the sensitivity of news reporting on this issue, extra care should be taken to ensure accuracy by vetting and clearance at the highest editorial level.

7. Telecast of any news/programme must not give any impression of bias or prejudice in favour of or against any community.

8. Care should be taken to ensure that no opportunity is given to anyone to express any extreme view, including in debates in order to influence the viewers.

9. Debates which are provocative and inflammatory and likely to create tension in the public should be avoided.

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