Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Anticipating a slew of special programmes ahead of the first anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Friday issued an advisory to television channels drawing broad parameters for such programming.

Urging the channels to ensure “balanced and responsible coverage,” the advisory underlines the fact that the investigation and trial are still in progress. Acknowledging the role of the media in the “crusade against terrorism by building strong public opinion and consensus against the senseless acts of terrorists,” the advisory says it is necessary to continue to display a “high degree of maturity and sensitivity” while covering terror issues.

“Replays of disturbing visuals showing scenes of blood and gore or images of dead or seriously wounded or the emotional distress of victims/hostages and their families may bring back dreaded memories of the tragic incident and may indirectly fulfil the basic design of the terrorists to spread fear and insecurity in the minds of the people.”

The advisory has been issued in view of the criticism drawn by media coverage of the hostage situation in Mumbai last November.