The government on Monday termed the television news coverage of cricketer Rishabh Pant’s road accident and some other crime stories “distasteful” and “heart wrenching” and asked them to strictly follow the programme code laid down under the relevant law.
In an advisory to all private satellite channels, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting cited the coverage of the cricketer’s car crash, airing of distressing images of dead bodies and thrashing of a five-year-old boy and said such reporting offended “good taste and decency”.
The read the advisory issued on Monday “…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.”
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.