I have expressed my displeasure with the Telugu TV Channels especially the news channels several times in this blog. The very first being my second post. As usual their reporting style and functioning has become more irritating to people like me. Though I hate most of these channels, I am forced to watch them for news at times and the moment I can see their unauthenticated information, bluffs, exaggeration, cheap scoops, political bias, caste bias, sensation oriented cheap news, gory crime stories and scenes, agenda-filled views and gossip as popular opinions, meaningless idiotic debates, I get upset and simply move away from their nonsense. A great invention, the TV is really converted into an Idiot box by the Telugu TV Channels. The time has come for them to correct themselves after the recent arrests of journalists and criminal cases booked on some TV Channels for broadcasting speculation as sensational news which led to large scale violence in several places of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra. And in the last three days I see that these Channels have mellowed down and are behaving responsibly.
I was happy to read the following headline news in today’s “The Times of India, Hyderabad” news paper: “HC warns TV news channels against crossing the line”. I quote excerpts of this newsprint: “Observing that the Telugu news television channels are turning irresponsible in their dissemination of news, the AP High Court on Saturday directed the State Government to ensure that these channels follow the programme code as envisaged in Rule 6 of the Cable Television Network Rules 1994.”
“Justice Tamada Gopalakrishna made this order while hearing an urgent house motion moved against these channels by B.V.V.S. Kameswara Rao, an advocate of the High Court seeking a restraint order on the channels because they are telecasting provocative speeches repeatedly and are creating enmity among different groups in the State.”
“Rule 6 says that no programme should be carried by the cable service which offends the good taste or decency, contains criticism of friendly countries, contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes, contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendoes and half truths, which may incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitude etc.”
“The Judge in his four-page order said that to improve their viewership, these channels were creating sensation and indulging in acts which are prejudicial to harmony among different groups. One channel shows provocative speeches while the other resorts to showing indecent obscene and vulgar things, he said. On account of some of these abusive visuals, people are becoming violent and are trying to create havoc in the State, the Judge said.”
“The media, both electronic and print, which is expected to behave in a responsible manner, is acting in a way which is not expected of it. In fact even prior to the promulgation of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the Cable TV Networks Rules 1994 were in force and Rule 6 clearly specified decency and responsibility to be displayed by these channels, he said.”
“The recent visuals telecast by these channels are clearly contrary to this Rule 6; the Judge said and warned that any violation of Rule 6 is punishable under Section 16 of the Act. This Court is firmly of the opinion that the TV news channels in Andhra Pradesh are exceeding their limitations only for the sake of sensation and this Court cannot be a silent spectator, Justice Gopalakrishna said in this Order. He directed these Channels not to transmit those programmes which create panic in the minds of the people of this State, programmes which are not verified properly or the speculative ones and also not to hold such debates which are of no use to the public.”
“Principle Secretaries of the State General Administration and Home Departments, DGP, Hyderabad Police Commissioner were directed to ensure that the following news Channels: TV9, NTV, TV5, I News, Sakshi, ABN Andhra Jyothi, ETV-2, TV1, RK News, HMTV, Maha TV, Studio N, adhere to the programme code properly. This interim direction of the court is for a period of 6 weeks. The Court asked the counsel for the Home Department to file an affidavit and posted the matter for hearing again after four weeks.”
Unquote. This judicial intervention is a blessing to control these TV Channels. I hope the News and programs on these channels will be of a very good standard from now on.