Govt asks TV channels to show restraint

Govt asks TV channels to show restraint

New Delhi: The government on Friday told news channels that they should have shown restraint in broadcasting live the movement of security personnel and commando operations that are currently underway following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

The government put forth this view at a meeting convened by Anand Sharma, the minister of state for external affairs who currently holds the additional charge of information and broadcasting, and attended by representatives of various television channels.

Officials representing the department of internal security and the ministry of defence at the meeting expressed concern that terrorists had access to television and Internet and could have benefited from the strategic information that they gathered from the live broadcast of operations, said a person who attended the meeting but did not want to be named.

Responding to this, the broadcasters said everyone (the news channels) had initially underestimated the magnitude of the operations and that the local administration, too, did not impose any restriction on the television crew placing cameras at vantage points, considered too close to the scene of the attacks. “However, the channels had on Thursday evening complied with a directive that asked them to move the cameras a little distance away," the person said.

“We issued an advisory yesterday and everyone complied," said Sushma Singh, secretary, ministry of information and broadcasting.

The meeting concluded with both sides agreeing to work closer with each other in similar situations in the future, the person who was present at the meeting, said.