From Ukraine to Delhi, govt frowns upon TV media coverage, issues stern advisory
New Delhi, Apr 23: The Union Government has issued an advisory to all private satellite television channels after it was found that some channels had covered certain incidents in a manner that appeared to be unauthentic, misleading, sensational and using socially unacceptable language and remarks.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry said that in respect of the coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it was observed:
Channels have been making false claims and frequently misquoting International agencies/actors.
Use of 'scandalous headlines/taglines' that are completely unrelated to the news item.
Many of the journalists and news anchors of these channels made fabricated and hyperbolic statements intending to incite the audiences.
Some instances of the Russia-Ukraine coverage:
(i) One channel aired a news item 'Ukraine mein Atomi Hadkamp' on 18th April, 2022 during which it mentioned that Russia is planning a nuclear attack on Ukraine. It further sensationalised the situation and mentioned that the attack will happen in the coming few days. The report mis-quoted International agencies also.
(ii) Another channel indulged in war mongering continues to air fact-less speculations to an extent that had the tendency to infuse fear in the minds of viewers as it claimed that Russia has given a 24 hours deadline for the Nuclear attack on Ukraine
(iii) One channel aired baseless sensational news on 18th April, 2022 titled 'Parmanu Putin se pareshan Zelenski', 'Parmanu action ki chinta Zelenski ko depression' and aired several unverified claims misquoting foreign actors/agencies "Official Russian Media clearly states that 3rd World war has started". The channel even showed footage with false claims that the Russian President is carrying a "Nuclear briefcase" with him.
(iv) Another channel misreported and made unverified claims on 19th April one such claim was - 'US agency CIA believes that Russia will use Nuclear weapons on Ukraine'.
(v) One of the channels very frequently made sensational claims of Nuclear war, it aired the headline 'Nuclear Nisana! Hairatangej khulasa world war ka' on 19th April, 2022. The channel made several of these exploitative and scandalous 'war promoting' claims multiple times.
(vi) A prominent channel misguided viewers through misreporting under sensational headlines such as 'Ukraine se Putin ka parmanu plan taiyar?', 'Parmanu Hamla hona tay hai?' which was aired on 19th April, 2022. The channel frequently uses such misleading and unrelated taglines in its reporting.
(vii) It was found that one channel ran a sensational speculative commentary on the active conflict during prime time. It used fabricated headlines such as 'Atom bomb girega? Teesra viswa yudha suru hoga?' on 19th April, 2022
(viii) A channel misguided viewers with unverified and incorrect news on the war. Anchors of many of these channels talk in hyperbole and make factually wrong comments even misquoting other sources. One such news titled 'Mariupol Finished! Full and final' on 20th April, 2022.
(ix) One channel aired fabricated pictures claiming to be the proof of the upcoming Nuclear attack on Ukraine. This completely speculative news story seems to be intending to misguide the viewers and arouse psychological upheavals inside them. The show titled 'Ye Raat Kayamat Wali Hai?' aired on 20th April 2022
(x) A journalist of one channel while reporting from Mykolaiv made several unfactual comments that seemed to be promoting war with statements such as 'Russia Parmanu Hamla Kab Karega? Kahan karega?' the channel used taglines like ' 'Vishwa Yudha ke Muhane par Duniya' on 20th April, 2022.
Observations on the coverage of the incident in North-West Delhi:
Provocative headlines and videos of violence that may incite communal hatred among the communities and disrupt peace and law and order
Disrupting the ongoing investigation process by playing scandalous and unverified CCTV footages
Showing footages of a specific community thus aggravating the communal tensions
Fabricated headlines sensationalising and giving communal colours to the actions of authority
Some of the exemplars of the content shown on some of the TV channels is at
Instances of the North-West Delhi coverage:
(i) 'Delhi mein Aman ke dushman kaun?' (Date: 16th April)
(ii) 'Badi Sajis Dange Wali, Karauli, Khargone vaya Delhi' (Date: 17th
(iii) A channel repeatedly carried a video clipping of a man belonging to
a specific community carrying a sword.
(iv) Channels claims that this video depicts that it was pre-planned to
spread violence in a religious procession. (19th April, 2022)
(v) Footage under heading: 'Hinsa se ek raat pehle sajis ka video'
(Date:19th April, 2022)
(vi) Vote Bank Vs Majoritarian Politics (Date: 19th April, 2022)
(i) A news channel broadcast a programme titled 'Hunkar' on 20th April, 2022. During the debate several speakers used unparliamentary and derogatory language towards each other. It was also found that the overall tenor and tonality of the show remains very aggressive and disturbing. Such ambience has a tendency to negatively impact the viewers especially children and may have a long lasting psychological distress and subliminal impact on them.
(ii) A news channel debate show titled 'अली Vs बली, कह ां कह ां खलबली?' aired on 15th April, 2022 on the 'Loudspeaker rules' have instances where panellists have used derogatory terms and there were also some communal comments made during the show,
(iii) A journalist of a channel during a prime time show titled 'अली, बजरांगबली पर खलबली' aired on 15th April, 2022, used instigating statements and derogatory references.