New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The government on Saturday issued an advisory for news channels directing them to avoid scandalous headlines and provocative claims in the television coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the Delhi riots. The advisory issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry strongly asks TV news channels to abide by the programme code laid down by the relevant laws.

Citing specific instances of "hyberbolic" statements made by news anchors and "scandalous headlines/taglines" while reporting on the Ukraine-Russia conflict and running unverified CCTV footage in the northwest Delhi riots case, the government said such misreporting disrupts the investigation process.

The government also said that certain debates on television channels in northwest Delhi riots case used unparliamentary, provocative, and socially unacceptable language.

This comes as, last week, clashes broke out between two communities in northwest Delhi's Jahangirpuri during a Hanuman Jayanti procession. The government has ecpressed serious concern regarding the manner in which TV channels have reported the incident.

In the advisory it is strongly stated that the channels must immediately refrain from publishing and transmitting any content which is violative of the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and the rules thereunder.

Section 6 of the Programme Code under the Act states that “no programme should be carried in the cable service which offends against good taste or decency; contains criticism of friendly countries; contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes; contains anything, obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths”.

Further, the advisory said that in the case of the Russia-Ukraine conflict reporting it has been observed that channels have been making false claims and frequently misquoting international agencies or actors, and using "scandalous headlines or taglines" completely unrelated to the news. It also said that many journalists and news anchors of these channels made "fabricated and hyperbolic" statements intending to incite the audience.

The advisory also cited instances of use of taglines or headlines such as 'Parmanu Putin se pareshan Zelenski (Zelenski worried about nuclear Putin), 'Parmanu action ki chinta se Zelenski ko depression' (Zelenski goes into depression over nuclear action), and making of “unverified claims misquoting” international agencies that the third world war has already started.

“One channel aired fabricated pictures claiming to be the proof of the upcoming nuclear attack on Ukraine. This completely speculative news story seems to be intending to misguide the viewers and arouse psychological upheavals inside them,” the advisory noted.

On the Delhi riots, the ministry took objection to a news channel repeatedly carrying a video clipping of a man belonging to a specific community carrying a sword, and claims made by another that the violence targeting the religious procession was pre-planned.

The ministry has also cautioned private TV channels against broadcasting debates having 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha