GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 1103
TO BE ANSWERED ON 26.02.2009
Media Coverage during Terrorist Attacks.
SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR
Will the Minister of INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING be pleased to state:-
a) The code of conduct that would be followed by media in the event of incidents like 26/11 to prevent the unfortunate occurrence of terrorists using media reports to plan their attacks and strategy?
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS AND INFORMATION & BROADCASTING (SHRI ANAND SHARMA)
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has constituted a Media Consultative Committee for media facilitation under the chairmanship of Secretary, I&B. The committee includes media organisations, inclusive of both print and electronic media and also representatives of civil society.
The terms of reference of the Committee are as under:-
(i) To serve as a forum of regular consultations between Government and various professional media bodies.
(ii) To provide a platform for exchange of views on concerns of civil society.
(iii) To discuss concerns of media organisations on various regulatory/ policy / procedural matters.
(iv) The Committee will meet at least twice a year or as and when necessary.
As far as print media is concerned, the Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory autonomous body has laid down Norms for Journalistic Conduct. The cases of violations of these norms are looked into by the Press Council and action is taken against the publication/ journalist by the Council in terms of provisions of the PCI Act, 1978.
For electronic media, TV channels are required to ensure compliance of Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and Rules framed thereunder. Further, with a view to provide greater specificity to the existing provisions, a Committee was constituted by the Government for reviewing the above codes. The Committee has submitted its report (Self Regulation Guidelines for Broadcasting Sector) to the Government on 05.03.2008 which is available on this Ministry’s website www.mib.nic.in under the heading ‘Self Regulation Guidelines 2008’.
News Broadcasters Association in the aftermath of the 26/11 terrorist attacks has also formulated a self regulating code. The code highlights self regulation during armed conflict, internal disturbance, communal violence, public disorder, crime and other similar situations. The details of the guidelines are available on the website of News Broadcasters Association (www.nbanewdelhi.com)