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Coverage of Rishabh Pant car crash, some crime stories is 'distasteful', strictly follow Programme Code: Govt to TV channels

An advisory has been issued to TV channels after several instances of lack of discretion by television channels were noticed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

The Centre on Monday termed the television news coverage of cricketer Rishabh Pant's recent car accident, and some other crime stories, "distasteful" and "heart-wrenching". The government has asked TV channels to strictly follow the Programme Code laid down under the law. 

An advisory has been issued to all private satellite channels in this regard by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The Ministry cited the coverage of the cricketer's car crash, airing of distressing images of dead bodies, and thrashing of a five-year-old boy, and said such reporting offended "good taste and decency".

It stated that the advisory has been issued after several instances of lack of discretion by television channels were noticed by the Ministry.

"Television channels have shown dead bodies of individuals and images/videos of injured persons with blood splattered around, people, including women, children and elderly being beaten mercilessly in close shots, continuous cries and shrieks of a child being beaten by a teacher, shown repeatedly over several minutes including circling the actions thereby making it even more ghastly, without taking the precaution of blurring the images or showing them from long shots," the advisory read. 

The advisory also highlighted that such reports can also have an adverse psychological impact on the children.

"The Ministry has observed that in most cases the videos are being taken from social media and broadcast without editorial discretion and modifications to ensure compliance and consistency with the Programme Code," the advisory further read. 

The Ministry has "strongly advised" all private television channels to attune their systems and practices of reporting incidents of crime, accidents and violence, including death in conformity with the Programme Code laid under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.

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