I&B Ministry bans 2 Malayalam TV channels for biased coverage of Delhi riots

On charges of biased reporting of Delhi riots with a deliberate focus on the vandalism of CAA supporters, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) had suspended two Malayalam news channels – Asianet and Media One for 48-hours on 6th March 2020.

Crux of the Matter

Breach of Law, Says IB
The I&B Ministry reprimanded both the channels and said that such reporting could enhance the communal disharmony and it should have been reported in a balanced way.

The Ministry says the coverage of Delhi riots violated Rule 6(1c) which states that ‘no program should be carried in the cable service which contains an attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes.’

Secondly, they were also held responsible for violating Rule 6(1e) that states that ‘no program should be carried in the cable service which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.’

The Central government had revoked the ban on 7th March hours after the two channels were charged for ‘being biased and critical of the police and RSS.’

NBA
News Broadcasting Association President Rajat Sharma condemned the decision of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and said, “I am shocked to learn that a decision like this was taken without the knowledge of the Minister for Information & Broadcasting.”

The NBA has asked that all complaints relating to the broadcast of news should be referred to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA). Rajat Sharma also demanded an inquiry in this regard and appreciated the concern shown by PM Narendra Modi in this matter and the subsequent withdrawal of the imposed ban.

I&B Minister Mr.Prakash Javadekar said, “The PM has expressed concern over the entire issue… and the government supports press freedom. We would look into the matter and take the necessary steps. But let me also tell you that everybody should accept that there has to be responsible freedom.”

Media One is owned by Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited which is backed by Jamaat-e-Islami. Asianet News is indirectly owned by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Curiopedia

The News Broadcasters Association is a private association of different current affairs and news television broadcasters in India established by leading Indian news broadcasters on 3 July 2007. The NBA represents the private television news & current affairs broadcasters. It is the collective voice of the news & current affairs broadcasters in India. It has presently 27 leading news and current affairs broadcasters (comprising 77 news and current affairs channels) as its members lead by Mr.Rajat Sharma (Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India TV) as the President. More Info

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