The News Broadcaster Association, in its affidavit before the Apex Court has suggested that its Code of Ethics should be included under Rule 6 of the ‘Program Code’ of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make the Code binding all news broadcasters, irrespective of membership of NBA.
During the case against Sudarshan News TV’s controversial show, Justice D Y Chandrachud, the presiding judge of the Bench, had called NBA ‘toothless’ over its laxity in enforcing its own regulations.
The affidavit through Advocate Rahul Bhatia has been filed in response to the court’s direction on Friday demanding how the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), could be strengthened and made effective in respect of electronic media. It asserts that the manner in which the independent self-regulatory adjudicating body, NBSA, adjudicates upon complaints received from viewers and aggrieved persons in respect of the programmes telecast by the member broadcasters has already ben furnished. However, in view of the fact that not all broadcasters/news channels come within the jurisdiction of NBSA.
The NBSA has made suggestions that “the court may grant recognition to NBSA, the independent self-regulatory mechanism so that complaints against all news broadcasters, whether NBSA or not, maybe entertained by NBSA and the orders passed by NBSA would be binding and enforceable on all news broadcasters. Recognition to NBSA would also strengthen the News Broadcasting Standards Regulations and penalties mentioned therein could be made more stringent.”