Training his guns on news agencies, home minister RR Patil accused the media of going ‘overboard’ with its coverage of events such as terror strikes, and called for a regulation to temper news coverage.
“Photographers are seen standing in front of patients at hospitals, and cameramen at affected spots are beaming live coverage. This attracts VVIPs at these spots. The police end up focusing on the security of visitors instead of concentrating on the victims and the investigations. There is a need for some regulation,” Patil said, while addressing the legislative council on Wednesday. “If the cameras are switched off, no one will come,” he added.
He cited the example of the November 2008 terror attack, when television channels were broadcasting real-time updates from the field. Patil mentioned how intercepts from Pakistan revealed that news coverage was being used to guide terrorists. “There should be some hold over what to disclose,” Patil said.
He also accused news channels of showing the same visuals over and over again, even at the risk of misleading the viewers. “There is a need to stop this competition,” the home minister said.