26/11 anniversary: Govt issues advisory to TV channels on reporting

"On the occasion of the first anniversary of the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2009, it is likely that special programmes, news items, talk shows and interviews would be telecast to highlight the incidents of last year.
"(As) the investigation and trial of the terror attacks in Mumbai are still in progress, it is therefore important to ensure a balanced and responsible coverage in any special programme likely to be telecast on the anniversary of the Mumbai attacks," the advisory, released by Ministry for Information and Broadcasting to all television channels, said.

The ministry said that the media has been asked to exercise restraint as "replays of disturbing visuals, showing scenes of blood and gore or images of dead or seriously wounded, may bring back dreaded memories of the tragic incident and may indirectly fulfil the basic design of the terrorists to spread fear and insecurity in the minds of people".

The ministry has urged channels to keep the contents of the advisory in mind "while telecasting programmes in connection with the anniversary of Mumbai terror attacks".

Following the 26/11 attacks, directives were issued to the media by the ministry on November 27, 2008 and December 3, 2008, regarding coverage of the terror strikes.
Television channels were asked to exercise caution while covering the incidents to avoid hampering rescue operations.
Appreciating the role of media in building strong public opinion in the face of such threats to national security, the advisory said "it is necessary to continue to display a high degree of maturity and sensitivity while covering events of terror and terror-related issues, especially in the case of Mumbai terror attacks".
Perhaps the occasion could be used to reiterate India’s commitment to fight terror and our continuing resolve to effectively counter any acts of terror against the country, the advisory added.

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