Government asks Assam news channel to go off air for a day

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) After NDTV, the central government has ordered an Assam-based news channel – News Time Assam – to go off air for a day on November 9 for violating programming norms.

The Information and Broadcasting ministry order dated November 2 said that the channel may be taken off air for one day.

“It was alleged by the Child Welfare Committee that this channel telecast a clear video clipping of a male child aged about 7 years who was reported to have been brutally tortured while working as a domestic servant at the residence of a government servant.

“News Time channel disclosed the identity of the minor by revealing his name and showing his face without blurring or morphing. Revelation of identity could scar the child for life,” the order said.

It further said: “The channel showed the visuals of the minor child repeatedly. Owing to physical harm and cruelty, the child appeared to be emotionally traumatised. These visual not only appeared to compromise the privacy and dignity of the child, he was also exposed to harm and stigma.

“By telecasting the above programme the channer (News Time Assam) appeared to have violated provisions of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.”

The Inter Ministerial Committee noted that the channel cannot escape from their responsibility by merely apologising for their error, especially when the channel carried the content which could cause immense harm to the child and denigrate him.

“Based on the material on record and the submission of channel’s representatives, the IMC opined that the channel had violated the proqramme code and that it should have exercised caution and care while telecasting a child-related programme.

Therefore, the IMC recommended that the channel may be taken off air for one day,” it added.

NDTV India had also been ordered off air for the same date over its coverage of the Pathankot attack.

–IANS

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