New Delhi: The National Broadcast Standards Authority (NBSA), a watchdog set up by broadcasters, issued guidelines on reporting sexual assault cases that said news channels should exercise sensitivity, discretion and judgement while covering such incidents.
This comes in the wake of criticism over the reporting of the rape and murder of a woman in Delhi in December that led to days of public protests that saw some violent clashes.
Television news stations have to bear in mind that coverage of crime influences the mindset of the viewer and has a significant impact on public perception, NBSA said. News channels also need to balance the right to privacy with public interest, it said.
They have to ensure that no victim of sexual assault, violence, aggression, trauma or a witness to any such acts is featured in any news report or programme related to the incident without the identity of the person being concealed.
In addition to any penal offences prescribed by the law, “sexual assault” also means and includes all forms of unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) such as physical contact and advances, including so-called “eve-teasing” and molestation; a demand or request for sexual favours; sexually coloured remarks; showing pornography; acid attacks; any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature, NBSA said.