Observe utmost caution in coverage

: an appeal to entire electronic media fraternity : BEA Advisory : The report of Sri Krishna Committee on Telangana issue is expected this month end. As we all know that the issue is highly emotive, the role of media, in general, and news channels in particular, is bound to be crucial. In the light of past incidents of violence on this issue, the members of the Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) are fully aware of its social responsibility. The BEA advises its members to stick to guidelines. It also makes an appeal to entire electronic media fraternity to observe utmost caution in coverage.

The BEA recalls the unprecedented sense of responsibility shown by the members  in coverage that followed the Ayodhya judgment a few weeks ago. People across the world, besides the Government, acknowledged your efforts and the deft handling of such a crucial event which carried a pan-India dimension.

The BEA also calls upon the Indian electronic media to show the same sense of responsibility again. The Editors should ensure that any footage or information that carries a potential to flare-up passion should be avoided. The objective behind the coverage should be such that  people  desist  from any kind of violence, inflicted on self or on others and damaging of property whether private or state-owned. The objective is based on stock premise that our democracy has no place for violence and destruction and the media is a product of this democracy.

In view of previous cases of self-inflicted violence on this issue, the editors should be extra cautious against airing of visuals which can cause reaction in the minds of the people of the state.  As in the past, it is best practice to give a time, date and place to visuals of violence.

The BEA was informed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials that special arrangements have been made to brief the media at the central and state levels to disseminate information regularly. Unless there is pressing and incontrovertible reason, the media should adhere to official versions in certain sensitive cases. This fact can be notified to the field reporters also. BEA has also requested the government for an authorised briefing of the contents of the report.

Shazi Zaman

N K Singh
General Secretary

Broadcast Editors’ Association

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