Fresh advisory to media over coverage of terror attacks

New Delhi: More than a year after the 26/11 attacks that brought the media’s role under closer scrutiny, the information and broadcasting ministry Wednesday issued a fresh advisory asking the electronic media to exercise caution while covering incidents of terrorist attacks.

The advisory asks the media to avoid airing interviews with terrorists.

“The interviews with terrorists have also provided a platform to them to justify their nefarious activities and obtain coverage on prominent channels which is seen as a major achievement and enabling them to put forward their distorted views to a wide audience,” said the advisory.

“Such undue coverage to terrorists and allowing them to air their views freely can jeopardize national security as well,” the ministry said.

“The government has taken a very serious view regarding airing of interviews with terrorists/terrorist groups by TV channels,” the ministry said.

The information and broadcasting ministry had issued directives to the electronic media on Nov 27, 2008 and Dec 3, 2008 over the coverage of incidents by electronic media during terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Against the mounting criticism of the media coverage of the Nov 26 Mumbai terror strikes, News Broadcasters Association, a body of news broadcasters, have come out with self-regulation guidelines for telecast of sensitive events that includes no live reporting of hostage situations.

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