Centre issues fresh guidelines for media for covering conflicts

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (ANI): Union Government on Wednesday issued a fresh guidelines for media to cover incidents of terror attacks and conflicts and advised the media to exercise caution while covering such incidents.

In a statement, Ministry for Information and Broadcasting Ministry said: "Government of India has advised electronic media to exercise caution while providing coverage to the incidents of terrorist attacks."

The fresh guidelines are the continuation of the directives issued by the Ministry on November 27, 2008 and December 3, 2008, regarding the coverage of incidents by electronic media during terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

In the said directive, TV channels were asked to exercise caution while providing coverage to the incidents to avoid any adverse consequences on the rescue operations.

The Ministry said that it has also been noted that, in the past, some TV channels arranged and telecast interviews with terrorists and terrorist groups.

In a particular case, a prominent TV channel telecast a phone interview with a dreaded terrorist who tried to internationalize the Kashmir issue using the electronic mass media.

"This kind of coverage can cause confusion amongst domestic and international audiences. The interviews with terrorists have also provided a platform to them to justify their nefarious activities and obtain coverage on prominent channels which is seen as a major achievement and enabling them to put forward their distorted views to a wide audience," the statement said.

"Such undue coverage to terrorists and allowing them to air their views freely can jeopardize national security as well," it added.

This matter has been under examination of Information and Broadcasting Ministry and in the Home Ministry. The Government has taken a very serious view regarding airing of interviews with terrorists and terrorist groups by TV Channels, the statement said.

"While the media has generally played a very constructive role in bringing out relevant issues regarding terrorism and has condemned terrorists for their brutal and ruthless ways, it must, however, be again emphasized that media must continue to cover terrorism and terrorist related issues with great responsibility and sensitivity," it added.

The statement also urged the media to maintain restrain while covering conflicts.

"In the interests of national security and on the advice of Ministry of Home Affairs, the media is hereby advised to avoid giving undue coverage to terrorists and terrorist groups which may help them to advance their political agenda," the ministry said.

"Such coverage would amount to gross violation of the provisions of the Programme Code contained in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and Rules framed there under," it added. (ANI)

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