Government Orders Another News Channel to be Taken off Air

News Time Assam has been accused of violating guidelines on 'more than one occasion'


An image of a News Time Assam broadcast from YouTube

An image of a News Time Assam broadcast from YouTube

After NDTV India, the Government has also ordered that an Assam-based news channel be taken off air for a day, following the recommendations of a high level panel which felt it had “violated” programming guidelines on more than one occasion. An I&B ministry order dated November 2, has sought that the channel ‘News Time Assam’, be taken off air on November 9, for a day.

One of the allegations against the channel relates to telecasting a programme which revealed the identity of a minor who had been brutally tortured while working as a domestic servant. Observing that the visuals telecast by the channel appeared to compromise the privacy and dignity of the child while also exposing him to harm and stigma, a showcause notice was issued to the channel in October 2013.

Having listened to the channel’s version, the Inter Ministerial Committee which looked into the matter felt that the channel may be taken off air for a day. According to the order, the matter was reconsidered as some other channels had also shown similar content for which they had been issued warnings, but the IMC looked at all the circumstances and again recommended taking it off air for a day.

NDTV India, the Hindi channel from the NDTV group, was also ordered not to broadcast on the same day for allegedly revealing sensitive information during the Pathankot attacks in January. The government’s decision has been strongly criticised by media associations, journalists and opposition parties.

With inputs from PTI

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