New Delhi : A private news channel has been issued a warning by Information and Broadcasting ministry to exercise caution while reporting or airing content on child abuse after a committee found it had violated the norms for such content.
According to the warning issued by the ministry, it had come to its notice that the channel, in one of its news bulletins in November last year, had reported an incident of rape of a six-year-old girl wherein it showed the face of the child twice without either blurring or morphing the image.
The ministry also listed two other cases where it felt the channel, while telecasting news related to sexual offences against minors, appeared to have not followed the norms.
Observing that there appeared violations of the rules under the programming code and also guidelines issued by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), an inter-ministerial committee constituted by the ministry issued a show cause notice to the channel.
In its reply, the channel said in two of the cases it had properly blurred the faces of the victims. It, however, admitted that in the case of the bulletin in November 2014, the footage was received only a few minutes before the telecast and was aired in a hurry.
The concerned staff was made to resign so that such mistakes do not recur, the channel said in its reply.
The committee also gave the channel an opportunity for personal hearing during which its representatives accepted the lapse in one of the cases and requested for a lenient view to be taken.
Keeping in view the lapse, but also considering that it was first such violation by the channel, the IMC recommended that a warning be issued to it to strictly abide by the Programme and Advertising Code.
Acting in accordance with the recommendation and keeping in mind ‘totality of the circumstances’, the ministry issued a warning to the channel asking it to strictly follow the provisions of the programme and advertisement code and also NCPCR guidelines as further violations could result in action as per the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act.