'It may incite communal disharmony, disturb peace': Govt slams TV debates on news channels

New Delhi:

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Saturday rapped the private news channels for hosting televisions debates and allowing participants to air communally provocative and derogatory remarks.

The Ministry on Saturday issued the advisory to the TV channels, cautioning against inciting communal disharmony and disturbing peace at large.

“It has been observed that some channels broadcast debates with unparliamentary, provocative and socially unacceptable language, communal remarks and derogatory references which may have a negative psychological impact on viewers and may also incite communal disharmony and disturb the peace at large,” the Ministry stated in the advisory.

The Ministry also took note of the TV coverage around the Russia-Ukraine conflict and recent incidents in North-West Delhi and flagged up violations of laws and norms.

“It has been found that in the recent past several satellite TV channels have carried out coverage of events and incidents in a manner which appears to be unauthentic, misleading, sensational and using socially unacceptable language and remarks, offending good taste and decency, and obscene and defamatory and having communal overtones, all of which appear to be violative of the programme code,” added the advisory.

With regards to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Ministry said that it has been observed that Channels have been making false claims and frequently misquoting international agencies/actors.

“Use of ‘scandalous headlines/taglines’ that are completely unrelated to the news item… Many of the journalists and news anchors of these channels made fabricated and hyperbolic statements intending to incite the audiences,” added the advisory.

Whereas with regard to the recent incident in North-West Delhi, the Ministry flagged issues like provocative headlines and videos of violence that may incite communal hatred among the communities and disrupt peace and law and order

“Disrupting the ongoing investigation process by playing scandalous and unverified CCTV footage, showing footage of a specific community thus aggravating the communal tensions, fabricated headlines sensationalising and giving communal colours to the actions of authority,” are among some of the issues raised by the government over the coverage of North-West Delhi incidents.

(This is an ANI story. Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by News24.)

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