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THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF REGULATION FOR MEDIA

THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF REGULATION FOR MEDIA

Impartiality and objectivity in reporting:

  • Accuracy is at the heart of the news television business. Viewers of 24 hour news channels expect speed, but it is the responsibility of TV news channels to keep accuracy, and balance, as precedence over speed. If despite this there are errors, channels should be transparent about them.
  • Errors must be corrected promptly and clearly, whether in the use of pictures, a news report, a caption, a graphic or a script. Channels should also strive not to broadcast anything which is obviously defamatory or libelous.
  • Truth will be a defense in all cases where a larger public interest is involved, and in even these cases, equal opportunities will be provided for individuals involved to present their point of view.
  • This also applies in cases where television channels report on those holding public office, though by virtue of doing so, no person can claim immunity from scrutiny from or criticism by news channels.

Ensuring neutrality:

  • Media must provide for neutrality by offering equality for all affected parties, layers and actors in any dispute or conflict to present their point of view.
  • Though neutrality does not always come down to giving equal space to all sides news channels must strive to ensure that allegations are not portrayed as fact and charges are not conveyed as an act of guilt.

Reporting on crime and safeguards to ensure crime and violence are not glorified:

  • News channels exercise restraint to ensure that any report or visuals broadcast do not induce, glorify, incite, or positively depict violence and its perpetrators, regardless of ideology or context.
  • Specific care must be taken not to broadcast visuals that can be prejudicial or inflammatory. Equally, in the reporting of violence (whether collective or individual) the act of violence must not be glamorized, because it may have a misleading or desensitizing impact on viewers. THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF REGULATION FOR MEDIA
  • News channels will ensure that such reconstructions will not cross boundaries of good taste and sensibility. This includes taking adequate precaution while showing any visual instance of pain, fear or suffering, and visuals or details of methods of suicide and self harm of any kind and will not cross boundaries of good taste and decency.

Depiction of violence or intimidation against women and children:

  • News channels must ensure that no woman or juvenile, who is a victim of sexual violence, aggression, trauma, or has been a witness to the same is shown on television without due effort taken to conceal the identity.
  • In reporting all cases of sexual assault, or instances where the personal character or privacy of women are concerned, their names, pictures and other details will not be broadcast/divulged.
  • Similarly, the identity of victims of child abuse and juvenile delinquents will not be revealed, and their pictures will be morphed to conceal their identity.

Sex and nudity:

  • News channels ‘will ensure that they do not show, without morphing, nudity of the male or female form.
  • Channels will also not show explicit images of sexual activity or sexual perversions or acts of sexual violence like rape or molestation, or show pornography, or the use of sexually suggestive language.

Privacy: |THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF REGULATION FOR MEDIA

  • As a rule channels must not intrude on private lives, or personal affairs of individuals, unless there is a clearly established larger and identifiable public interest for such a broadcast.
  • The underlying principle that news channels abide by is that the intrusion of the private spaces, records, transcripts, telephone conversations and any other material will not be for salacious interest, but only when warranted in the public interest.
  • However, it is also understood that the pursuit of the truth and the news is not possible through the predetermined principle of prior permission; hence door stepping individuals or authorities for the purpose of newsgathering may be used only in the larger purpose of public interest.
  • Further, in the case of minors, in any broadcast that intrudes on their privacy, the channel should attempt, where possible, to seek the consent of the parent or legal guardian.
  • However, the defense of the premise of privacy cannot be misconstrued as the denial of access, and this applies to all individuals, including those in the public eye and public personalities. It does however apply in its entirety, as per the provisions mentioned above, to their children and kin who are minors.

Endangering national security:

  • In the use of any terminology or maps, that represent India and Indian strategic interests, all news channels will use specific terminology and maps mandated by law and Indian government rules.
  • News channels will also refrain from allowing broadcasts that encourage secessionist groups and interests, or reveal information that endangers lives and national security.
  • However, it is in the public interest to broadcast instances of breach of national security and loopholes in national security and reporting these cannot be confused with endangering national security.

Refraining from advocating or encouraging superstition and occultism:

  • News channels will not broadcast any material that glorifies superstition and occultism in any manner. In broadcasting any news about such genre, news channels will also issue public disclaimers to ensure that viewers are not misled into believing or emulating such beliefs and activity.
  • Therefore news channels will not broadcast “as fact” myths about “supernatural” acts, apparitions and ghosts, personal or social deviations or deviant behaviour, and recreations of the same.
  • Wherever references are made to such cases, news channels will issue on air riders/disclaimers/warnings to ensure that such beliefs or events are not passed off “as fact” since they can hurt rational sensibilities.

Sting operations: | THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF REGULATION FOR MEDIA

  • As a guiding principle, sting and undercover operations should be a last resort of news channels in an attempt to give the viewer comprehensive coverage of any news story.
  • News channels will not allow sex and sleaze as a means to carry out sting operations, the use of narcotics and psychotropic substances or any act of violence, intimidation, or discrimination as a justifiable means in the recording of any sting operation.
  • Sting operations, will also abide by the principles of self regulation and news channels will ensure that they will be guided, as mentioned above, by an identifiable larger public interest.
  • News channels will as a ground rule, ensure that sting operations are carried out only as a tool for getting conclusive evidence of wrong doing or criminality, and that there is no deliberate alteration of visuals, or editing, or interposing done with the raw footage in a way that it also alters or misrepresents the truth or presents only a portion of the truth.

ALSO READ : https://www.brainyias.com/human-values/

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