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Term anti-national attitude in Cable Network Rules must be properly defined: Parl panel

Term anti-national attitude in Cable Network Rules must be properly defined: Parl panel

Published:02 December 2021

Rule 6(1)(e) of the Cable Network Rules, 2014 states that no programme should be carried in cable service which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contain anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote “anti-national attitude”. The term 'anti-national attitude' has, however, not been separately defined.

New Delhi | A parliamentary panel on Wednesday asked the information and broadcasting ministry to properly define the term “anti-national attitude” used in the Cable Network Rules, 2014, saying it may be the cause of unnecessary harassment of private channels.
In its 27th report on 'Ethical Standards in Media Coverage', the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology, headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, observed that the term needed to be properly defined to remove any ambiguity in its interpretation.
Rule 6(1)(e) of the Cable Network (CTN) Rules, 2014 states that no programme should be carried in cable service which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contain anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote “anti-national attitude”.
“The term 'anti-national attitude' has, however, not been separately defined in the programme code enumerated in the CTN Rules, 1994. The ministry has justified that 'anti-national' is commonly understood as opposed to national interests or nationalism,” the panel said.
“However, the committee is of the considered opinion that the term 'anti-national attitude' used in Rule 6(1)(e) of the Cable Network Rules, 2014 may be the cause of unnecessary harassment of the private channels and therefore recommend that the term 'anti-national attitude' be properly defined to remove any ambiguity in the interpretation of the term in the prescribed code,” it said.

Govt must ensure code of ethics are followed in digital media space
New Delhi | Observing that social media platforms have placed journalism in the hands of citizens, a parliamentary panel on Wednesday asked the government to ensure code of ethics is followed in the digital media space while preserving right to freedom of expression.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology in its 27th report on 'Ethical Standards in Media Coverage', presented in Parliament, said it hoped that the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, “will go a long way in regulating digital media content”.
“The committee impressed upon the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to ensure that adequate consultations take place with all stakeholders and that oversight of digital media may be exercised while fully preserving their right to freedom of expression,” it said.
It also hoped that the MIB along with the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology “will work coherently and in tandem to ensure that the code for ethics is followed by digital media also”.
The panel observed that social media platforms, like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, etc. have placed journalism in the hands of the citizens.
“Citizens use their personal recording devices including cell phones to capture events and post them on the internet,” it noted.
The panel said that though, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology does not have a record of the number of internet websites in India, according to a popular site, Internetlivestats.com, there are at present more than 150 crore websites across the world and it is expected that around 20 crore out of these are active websites across the world.
The committee noted that in India there are 1,44,893 newspapers and periodicals which have been registered with Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), 926 permitted satellite television channels (with 387 channels being under news and current affairs category and 539 being under non-news and current affairs category), 36 Doordarshan channels with two news and 34 non-news channels, 495 All India Radio FM radio stations and 384 private FM radio stations. 


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