New Delhi, 9th January 2023: Today (January 9), a warning against publishing occurrences of accidents, fatalities, and violence, especially violence against women, children, and the elderly, in ways that seriously impair “good taste and decency” was issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The warning was issued after the Ministry became aware of several incidents of lack of discretion on the part of television broadcasters.

The Ministry claims that television channels have repeatedly broadcast over several minutes while circling the actions to make them even more horrifying, dead bodies of people, images or videos of injured people with blood all over them, close-ups of people being brutally beaten, including women, children, and the elderly, and continuous cries and shrieks of a child being beaten by a teacher.

It has also been made clear that the audience finds the way such instances are reported repulsive and upsetting. The influence that such reporting has on different audiences has been highlighted by the recommendation. Such reports have been said to have a negative psychological effect on children.

The advice has emphasised the critical problem of privacy invasion, which may be potentially libellous and defamatory. Television is a platform that is typically used by families in homes with individuals from all cohorts — old, middle-aged, small children, etc. — and from various socioeconomic backgrounds. As a result, the broadcasters are held to a certain level of responsibility and discipline, which has been codified in the Programme Code and the Advertising Code.

The Ministry has seen that, in the majority of cases, videos are pulled directly from social media and broadcast without any editorial judgement or alterations to guarantee that they comply and are consistent with the Programme Code.