Ministry warns TV channels on showing ‘disturbing content’ without editorial intervention

The government described the television news coverage of cricketer Rishabh Pant’s car accident and certain other crime tales as “distasteful” and “heart-wrenching” on Monday.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting cautioned all private satellite stations that certain reporting had violated “good taste and decency” by displaying disturbing photos of corpses, covering the cricketer’s car crash, and beating a five-year-old youngster.

The ministry urged networks to rigorously abide by the programme code established by the applicable legislation.

“…television channels have shown dead bodies of individuals and images/videos of injured persons with blood splattered around, people including women, children, and 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,” read the advisory issued on Monday.

It also said the broadcasters had taken video clips and images from social media and “little effort has been made to modulate or attune or edit such clips so as to make it compliant and consistent with the spirit of the Programme Code.”

The ministry has “strongly advised” television channels to attune their systems and practices of reporting incidents of crime, accidents, and violence, including death, in conformity with the Programme Code laid under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.

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