2 Malayalam news channels banned for 48 hours for media coverage on Delhi riots
The ministry ordered the prohibition of transmission or re-transmission of the channels for 48 hours with effect from 7.30pm on March 6.Updated: Mar 07, 2020 05:51 IST
The information and broadcasting ministry said on Friday it was suspending the transmission of two Malayalam news channels for 48 hours over their coverage of the recent violence in north-east Delhi, adding that the reports they ran could “enhance communal disharmony”.
Following the responses of the two channels – Asianet News TV and Media One – to a show-cause notice, the government said it found them in violation of the programme code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. The ministry ordered the prohibition of transmission or re-transmission of the channels for 48 hours with effect from 7.30pm on March 6. According to Rule 6(1)(c) of the Act, no broadcast should contain an attack on religions or communities, or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups.
The orders issued to the two channels cited instances of reporting that were found to be in violation of the rules.
“While reporting such critical incident, the channel (Asianet News) should have taken utmost care and should have reported it in a balanced way.
Such reporting could enhance the communal disharmony across the country when the situation is highly volatile,” the order on Asianet News TV said. In its response to the notice, the channel said its reports were factual and never intended to attack a religion or a community.
The ministry’s order on Media One also raised questions on the channel’s content, and said that the ministry previously issued advisories that norms should be followed.
In its response to the ministry’s notice earlier, Media One said it reported what its correspondents witnessed on the ground.
When contacted, a senior editor of Asianet News TV said: “It was least expected. The management will give an explanation later.” he said.
Representatives of Media One refused a comment on the issue.