I&B Ministry warns news channels against airing promotional programmes

I&B Ministry warns news channels against airing promotional programmes

The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has warned the news channels against airing promotional programmes in the format of regular news items.

“It has come to the notice of the Ministry that some TV channels are indulging in telecasting the advertisements/promotional programmes including those of Institutions/Organizations offering educational/financial solutions or solutions for medical problems, etc. which are masqueraded as news items thereby misleading audience,” the Ministry noted in a recent advisory to the channels.

Such programmes are often aired as “exclusive” or “live interview” with the management representatives of the organisations.

“The format of which is made to look like as if it is a regular news programme/panel interview/discussion while there is no indication anywhere on the screen that it is a promotional programme,” the Ministry added.

The ministry described the telecast of such programmes as “misleading.” It contended that the viewers watch such programmes believing them to be news items.

The airing of programmes in such a manner would be considered as the violation of the programme and advertising code.

“All the channels are advised to follow the provisions contained in Rule 7(10) of the Advertising Code scrupulously and exercise caution in this regard,” the Ministry said.

Any violation of the provisions of the programme or advertising codes would attract penal provisions stipulated in Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the terms and conditions of uplinking and downlinking guidelines, it added.

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