NBSA censures TV 18 for 'biased' reports on Rajiv trust

The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has issued a “censure” against TV18 Broadcast Limited which runs CNN-IBN and Hindi channel IBN7 for “wilful violation” of NBA code of ethics and broadcasting standards in the airing of a programme related to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT).

The NBSA of which Justice J S Verma (Retd) is the Chairperson in its order directed that the two channels run apologies and also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the broadcaster which should be paid to News Broadcasters’ Association (NBA).

“The broadcaster committed egregious violation of the NBA Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards, especially guidelines relating to accuracy, impartiality, neutrality, requirement of due diligence and verification of facts prior to telecast, as also the need to carry the version of the person affected,” the NBSA said.

Noting that the reportage of the programme in question smacked of “clear bias and lack of objectivity”, the NBSA said it is an example of “sensationalization” with the purpose of promoting and improving the image of the channels, which is “unethical journalism.”

The order was pronounced on a complaint filed by the RGCT against the broadcaster after the two channels aired a programme on August one, 2011 in relation to the land allegedly allotted to it for its proposed charitable eye hospital in Gurgaon which gave an impression that it was involved in a dubious deal.

In this context, the NBSA observed that a broadcast has to be judged on the basis of the overall impression, perception and impact that viewer gets on a plain viewing of the broadcast.

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