NBSA Imposes Rs. 1 lakh fine on Aaj Tak for telecasting "Fake Tweets" about SSR

NewsBharati    08-Oct-2020
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New Delhi, October 08: In a hunger to generate more TRP than other channels, many news channels ran news without cross-examining and highlighting photoshopped tweets and now they have come under the scanner of the NSBA. Now, News Broadcasting Standard Authority (NBSA) imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on AajTak, the Hindi-language news channel of the India Today group for telecasting fake tweets relating to actor late Sushant Singh Rajput.
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It has asked AajTak to submit the proof of compliance of the telecast of the apology to the association within 7 days of the telecast. And also said that the fine should be paid to it within 7 days of receipt of the order.
Moreover, NBSA has also asked electronic news channels, Aaj Tak, Zee News, News 24, and India TV have been asked to air an apology for running insensitive Tag Lines that had the effect of violating the privacy and affecting the dignity of the deceased. Whereas, India TV along with Aaj Tak has been found guilty of showing images of Rajput's corpse.
The organisation was also hauled up for violating privacy guidelines by barging into the actor's parent's house and questioning family members.
It said, "While it is the duty of the news channel to report news, which may be in the public interest and the persons being reported upon may get justice from such media reports, it is equally important to present the news in a manner which does not violate the privacy of the dead nor sensationalise a tragic incident. It is important that the dead must not be subjected to unnecessary media glare."
Referring to Aaj Tak's infamous "Hit-Wicket" tagline, the authority said, "It appears that the questions are being addressed to Sushant Singh Rajput, who is no more, therefore the Taglines are offensive, violate privacy and affect the dignity of the deceased."
NBSA has also warned ABP News, News Nation TV, ABP Manjha for its violations of the code of ethics and broadcasting standards. News Nation had aired the picture of SSR's dead body but had sincerely apologised during the hearing at NBSA. NBSA issued a warning to the said channel not to repeat the violation in the future.
The authority has observed, "Undoubtedly, the media has the right of freedom of speech and expression. It also cannot be doubted that when a well-known public personality like Sushant Singh Rajput commits suicide, not only it becomes big news, but also a matter of discussion which can revolve around various complaints and hypothesis. Therefore, telecast of such programs, per se, can neither be discouraged nor criticized. The freedom of speech and expression comprises not only the right to express, publish and propagate information through circulation but also to receive information. By disseminating information, media is facilitating the citizenry to avail of this right."
This has come after Saurav Das, Nilesh Navlakha, Inrajeet Ghorpade, filed a complaints against few media channels to the NSBA in Sushant Singh Rajput's case. The complainants and representatives from the news channels had a virtual meeting with the NBSA on September 24.