Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) has expressed its concern over apparent tendency among governments, both at the Centre and in some states, to serve notices on media organisations in a selective manner.
Will Raise Notices to NDTV, Others With Government: Broadcasters’ Association
The apex body of editors of news channels in India has expressed its dismay over the latest notices reportedly issued to three channels – ABP News, Aajtak and NDTV – on the questionable pretext that their coverage pertaining to Yakub Memon’s death sentence amounted to contempt of the institution of the President as also the judiciary.
The BEA has decided to take up this issue with the government.
The BEA has also expressed concern over the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2015 which limits the media coverage of anti-terrorist operations to “periodic briefings” by an officer “till such operation concludes”.
This amended rule does not mention (1) what constitutes a terrorist operation as different from any other encounter, (2) at what stage should the government notify the nature of incident to the media and (3) does it mean restriction on only airing of the operation “till such operation is over” or does it deny the right to cover the incident per se.
While the BEA does not believe in live visual coverage of terror incidents, it does believe that media coverage cannot be restricted to official briefings. However, there are ample self-regulatory guidelines regarding coverage of terror incidents which this body strictly adheres to.
The BEA has in its executive committee meeting on Saturday, 8th of August, 2015 decided to take up the defamation notices issued by the Rajasthan Government to Times Now and privilege proceedings initiated by the UP Assembly against Aajtak.