The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has advised all television channels broadcasting the Supreme Court hearing on the Ayodhya matter to refrain from showing any archival footage of the demolition of the Babri Masjid and ‘exercise caution’ while reporting on the issue.
In a two page advisory, the authority, a self regulating body for news channels, asked the channels to ensure that no speculative news was telecast on the impending judgement.
“For clarity and adherence, it is emphasised that programmes/ telecast should not speculate on issues relating to the Ayodhya judgement or its repercussions,” the authority said in its advisory. It also asked the broadcasters to ensure that no celebratory or protest visuals related to Ayodhya were aired.
“No footage of the demolition of the Babri Masjid is to be shown in any news item relating to the Ayodhya matter,” the NBSA said in its advisory. The authority has prescribed that news organisations should vet and clear the reports on the issue at the highest editorial level. The reporting should not give “any impression of bias or prejudice in favour of, or against any community,” it advised. Even during debates on air, care ought to be taken to ensure that no extreme views were telecast, the NBSA said. “Debates which are provocative and inflammatory and likely to create tension in the public should be avoided,” the authority said.