TV channels warned over airing interview of child witness to blasts

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) TV channels were today warned by the Government over their repeated telecast of interview of 12-year-old Rahul, a key witness to the September 13 blast at Connaught Place here, because the disclosure of the identity of the boy may endanger his life.

The objection to the frequent appearance of the TV footage of the child was raised by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) following which the Ministry of Information&Broadcasting has issued an advisory to Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and the News Broadcasters Association (NBA).

They have been asked to direct their member channels not to telecast any news item which may put the life of a person at risk.

The NCPCR has found the act of media as insensitive and negligent which could endanger the life of Rahul, with no one to protect or advise him of the serious consequences.

''It has also observed that media exhibited reckless behaviour, and instead of having concern for the safety of the child, they allowed his identity to be exhibited to the nation in their attempt to encash the tragedy,'' the Ministry said.

It has also desired the IBF and the NBA to ensure that their member channels exercise restraint in selection of their content for broadcast.

The content has been a very contentious issue between the Ministry and broadcasters for quite sometime.

The Ministry has during recent years taken action in a number of cases of violation of the programme code. The issues related to mostly to obscenity, nudity, sting operations and theirs.

The Government attempt to bring in new content code with a regulatory regime was shot down by the TV industry, and some TV channels(news broadcasters) instead brought out their own code which they said would be implementetd by a self-regulatory authority they have put in place.

The Authority has become functional since October 2. The Ministry has said it was ready to give a chance to the broadcasters in their attempt at self-regulation.

UNI NAZ GT RAI1825

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