TV news channels bring out guidelines for themselves

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) Public complaints about objectionable TV programmes can be made directly to the channel concerned and such complaints will be responded in fullness, as per the draft content and self-regulation code brought out by news broadcasters today.

The Code has been evolved by the News Broadcsters Association (NBA) after it flatly rejected the draft content code for TV channels brought up by the Government last year.

The guidelines, a copy of which has been sent to the Ministry of Information and Broadcatsing by the NBA, also say that all news channels will, on their website, create provision to receive consumer feedback.

''In the event, any news channel gets a specific complaint and finds it to be true, it will admit to the same on air and will respond in fullness and fairness to the viewer,'' it says.

It forbids the channels from showing explicit images of sexual activity or acts of sexual violence like rape or molestation, or pornography, and the use of sexually suggestive language.

However, the NBA said, this self-regulation is aimed not at moral policing, but rather at ensuring that overtly regressive and explicit acts and visuals do not slip into broadcasts.

The code also prohibits channels from intruding on private lives, or personal affairs of individuals, unless there is a clearly established larger and identifiable public interest for such a broadcast.

It also says that news channels will not broadcast any material that glorifies superstition and occultism in any manner.

They will also ensure that viewers are not misled into believing or emulating such beliefs and activities as a fact.

While permitting sting and under cover operations, the code says they should be the last resort of news channels in an attempt to give the viewer comprehensive coverage of any news story.

''News channels will not allow sex and sleaze as a means to carry out sting operations, the use of narcotics and psychotropic substances or any act of violence, intimidation, or discrimination as a justifiable means in the recording of any sting operation,'' it said.

It asks the channels to ensure that there was no deliberate alteration of visuals, or editing, or interposing done with the raw footage in a way that it also alters or misrepresents the truth or presents only a portion of the truth.

The code also says that all news channels will use specific terminology and maps mandated by law and Indian governments rules.

The depiction of the map of the territory of India will reflect official guidelines, as detailed in official literature.

UNI NAZ SBC AS2100

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