NBA suggests making code of ethics binding on news channels to strengthen regulation

The self-regulatory body was pulled up by the Supreme Court for not having adequate regulation over electronic media


The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has filed an affidavit in response after it got pulled up by the Supreme Court during the Sudarshan News Hearing for not having adequate control over news channels.

During the hearing on September 18, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph expressed their concerns about lack of effective self-regulation in electronic media.

“NBA says that they have a committee headed by Justice Sikri. They can impose a maximum fine of 1 lac fine and this shows how toothless you are. But NBA is only for members, so Sudarshan News not being a member is not governed by NBA… How can you have self-regulation if NBA is the only body you have,” questioned Justice Chandrachud.

Justice Chandrachud asked Advocate Nisha Bhambhani appearing for News Broadcasters Association (NBA), “One thing you can do is come back to us on a method to strengthen NBA, so that you have a higher regulatory content. You have a few members and your regulations cannot be implemented. You need to tell us how it can be strengthened.”

It is to this suggestion of the court that the secretary General of NBA, Annie Joseph has filed an affidavit on behalf of the Association in order to make NBA more effective. Through the affidavit, NBA said that its “Code of Ethics” should be given statutory status and should be made a part of the Programming Code.

“This court may grant recognition to NBSA (News Broadcasting Standard Association) the ‘independent self-regulatory mechanism’ so that complaints against all news broadcasters, whether members of NBA or not, may be entertained by the NBSA and the orders passed by the NBSA would be binding and enforceable on all news broadcasters,” Joseph said in her affidavit, reported The Print.

The affidavit further states that recognition to NBA will further strengthen the News broadcasting Standard Regulation and that amenability to the NBSA mechanism should be made a term of the “uplinking/downlinking permission for news channels, and the orders made, if any, against any news broadcaster may be considered by the (information and broadcasting) ministry at the time of grant and renewal of such permissions”.

The affidavit has been filed in a petition filed against Sudarshan News for telecasting communally inflammatory and inciteful content in which the Supreme Court has imposed stay on telecast of the rest of the episodes in the series titled “Naukarshahi me Muslamano ki Ghuspaith ke shadyantra ka bada khulasa” (The conspiracy behind Muslim infiltration in UPSC – The Big Reveal). This “UPSC Jihad” series has been running since September 11 and was slated to continue until September 20. However, with the Supreme Court order restraining broadcast, September 14 happens to be the last telecast of the show. The hearing is likely to continue at 2 P.M today.


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Come back to us on a method to strengthen NBA : SC in Sudarshan News case
Sudarshan News defends show calling it investigative journalism; Centre says regulate digital media first
SC restrains Sudarshan News from telecasting “UPSC Jihad” show, calls it ‘insidious’



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