The electronic media is all set to be restrained from airing live coverage of the anti-terror operations conducted by the security agencies following the Information & Broadcasting ministry’s nod to a Home Ministry advice on the matter. Under the new clause to be added to Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 and to be notified shortly, the television news channels will be mandated to restrict themselves to reporting periodic briefing by designated officers while reporting on an anti-terror operation.
Following the Home ministry’s advice, the I&B ministry, officials said, would add a new clause to the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 according to which TV channels will not be allowed to carry content “which contains live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation by security forces, wherein media coverage shall be restricted to periodic briefing by an officer designated by the appropriate Government, till such operation concludes.”
I&B Secretary Bimal Julka confirmed that “an amendment in the rules has been incorporated in the Cable TV Networks Rules, as per the advice of the MHA.”
The Home Ministry, from time to time, asked the I&B ministry to ensure that security operations are not covered live. The I&B, in turn, had sought clarification on what should “anti-terrorist operations” be defined as. Now, an “anti-terrorist operation” has been defined as “such operation undertaken to bring terrorists to justice, which includes all engagements involving justifiable use of force between security forces and terrorists,” officials said.