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I&B Ministry bans two regional news channels for content violation

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I&B Ministry bans two regional news channels for content violation

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), ordered a ban on two news channels, Assamese news channel DY 365 and Gujarati news channel VTV, for violation of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
According to the two separate orders from the Ministry, Assamese news channel DY 365 will be banned for three days across India from December 15-18 and Gujarati news channel VTV will be banned for one day from December 16-17.
The decision to ban the two channels was taken by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) which concluded that “DY 365” was in violation of Rule 6 (1) (a), (l)& (o) of the cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and VTV was in violation of Rule 6 6 [1] (a) & 6 (1) (I) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

DY 365 – Assamese TV News channel
DY 365, on June 4, 2016, had telecast a ‘News Report’ based on a ritual in which a man could be seen tossing a new-born baby up and down in the air.
According to MIB, a man in the video “hurls and slings the baby in every possible manner...”
“The visuals are extremely disturbing, and not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition,” the ministry said.
After the order, the channel was also served with a Show Cause Notice (SCN) on October 4, 2016.
In their defence, the channel’s representatives said, “The programme was not sensationalized or disclosed information which may cause harm to children, but on the contrary, they highlighted the unethical and dangerous practices being carried out in the country and had vehemently spoken against such practices.”
“The finding of the Ministry’s letter was based on the visuals which are half the picture,” the channel said and further added that they tried to educate through the news and did not add anything in the name of superstition and blind belief.
However, the ministry in the order said, “The representatives of the channel were not able to reply/tell about the video i.e., what is the ritual called in Assam, place where such ritual happened and what is the reason that the channel telecast it on their channel.”

VTV- Gujarati News Channel
In a news programme namely ‘Viral Truth’, on March 20, 2017, VTV showed a man “brutally beating up children in an orphanage.” The video was trending on social media before alleging that the incident had occurred in RMVM school of Valsad, Gujarat. However, when channel conducted its own investigation about this video, it found that the video was from an orphanage in Egypt.
The ministry in the order said, “While reporting the news, the channel has shown disturbing visuals of the orphan kids who were beaten up and thrashed brutally by the manager.”
It further said that the channel has tried to sensationalize the issue by showing the said visuals for 4 minutes & 24 seconds to grab attention of its viewers.
“Such visuals not only offend good taste/decency but also denigrate children by showing them being brutally tortured,” the ministry said.
The channel was served a SCN on July 27, 2017 to which it replied that other channels had also run the video on the same impression that it was of RMVM School of Valsad, Gujarat.
In a meeting with IMC, the channel representatives owned up to their mistake in carrying the said programme and apologized for the same and assured that nothing of this sort will be repeated on their channel.
However, IMC noted that “the channel cannot escape from their responsibilities by merely apologising for their error,” and recommended that VTV be taken off air for one day for violating the provisions of the programme code.

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