The Sri Krishna Committee report on the issue of Telangana statehood is expected
this month end. Given the highly volatile issue, the role of media, in general, and
news channels, in particular, is bound to be crucial.
In light of past incidents of violence on this issue, the Broadcast Editors’
Association (BEA) has advised its members to stick to guidelines. It has also
appealed to the entire electronic media fraternity to observe utmost caution in
Pointing out the sense of responsibility shown by its members in coverage
followed the Ayodhya judgment a few weeks ago, the BEA called upon the Indian
electronic media to show the same sense of responsibility again. The Association
advised that editors of news channels should ensure that any footage or
information that carried a potential to flare-up of passions should be avoided. “The
objective behind the coverage should be such that people desist from any kind of
violence, inflicted on self or on others and damaging of property, whether private
or state-owned. The objective is based on stock premise that our democracy has no
place for violence and destruction and the media is a product of this democracy,”
BEA said in its advisory.
The BEA was informed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials
that special arrangements had been made to brief the media at the Central and State
levels to disseminate information regularly. The advisory added, “Unless there is
pressing and incontrovertible reason, the media should adhere to official versions
in certain sensitive cases. This fact can be notified to the field reporters also.” The
BEA has also requested the Government for an authorised briefing of the contents
of the Telangana report.