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Government issues advisory to media ahead of Ayodhya celebration, urges caution against false information

Government issues advisory to media ahead of Ayodhya celebration, urges caution against false information

The advisory, timed ahead of the Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha celebration scheduled for January 22, 2024, emphasizes the importance of adhering to existing norms and regulations applicable to the media.

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Government issues advisory to media ahead of Ayodhya celebration, urges caution against false information Government issues advisory to media ahead of Ayodhya celebration, urges caution against false information

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, has directed newspapers, private satellite television channels, and digital media publishers to exercise caution and refrain from publishing or telecasting any content that may be false, manipulated, or has the potential to disturb communal harmony or public order in the country.

The advisory, timed ahead of the Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha celebration scheduled for January 22, 2024, emphasizes the importance of adhering to existing norms and regulations applicable to the media. The ministry expressed concern over the spread of unverified, provocative, and fake messages, particularly on social media platforms, which have the potential to disrupt communal harmony and public order.

The advisory draws attention to specific provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995, and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct laid down by the Press Council of India under the Press Council Act, 1978. These guidelines stress the need for accuracy, fairness, and responsible reporting while prohibiting the dissemination of content that attacks religions or communities, is defamatory, or incites violence.

Quoting the Norms of Journalistic Conduct, the advisory highlights the duty of media outlets to ensure that the tone, spirit, and language of their content are not objectionable, provocative, or designed to promote communal disharmony. It further stresses the need for self-regulation, caution, and due restraint when presenting news that could jeopardize the paramount interests of the State and society.

The Programme Code, as outlined in the advisory, prohibits the broadcast of content that contains attacks on religions or communities, anything obscene or defamatory, and anything likely to encourage violence or go against the maintenance of law and order.

The advisory calls on media outlets to uphold their due diligence obligations and exercise restraint in disseminating information that could potentially harm communal harmony or public order. Social media platforms are specifically urged to make reasonable efforts to avoid hosting, displaying, or publishing information that falls within the specified categories.

Edited By: Bikash Chetry
Published On: Jan 20, 2024