Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) and lawyer activist Prashant Bhushan expressed concern over information and broadcasting ministry’s (I&B) notice to three television channels over coverage of Yakub Memon’s hanging.
The I&B ministry has asked the channels why action should not be taken against them and sources said it was felt that some parts of the coverage of these news channels were inappropriate following which they have been asked to explain how their coverage does not violate the sections of the Programme Code.
Bhushan termed the Centre’s showcause notices as an attempt to “intimidate” and “terrorise” the media.
Officials said that sections of the Programme Code lay down that no programme should be carried which contains anything obscene, defamatory, false and no programme should be carried, which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.
Two of the broadcasters to whom notices have been sent had reportedly aired phone-in interviews of underworld figure Chhota Shakeel. Another channel is learnt to have telecast remarks of Memon’s lawyer.
A statement issued by BEA expressed that it has decided to take up this issue with the government.
The BEA also expressed concern over the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2015, which limits the media coverage of anti-terrorist operations to “periodic briefings” by an officer “till such operation concludes.”