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MIB warns news channels against airing promotional programmes in garb of news items

MUMBAI: News channels have been warned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) against airing promotional programmes in the garb of regular news items.

“It has come to the notice of the Ministry that some TV channels are indulging in telecasting the advertisements/promotional programmes including those of Institutions/Organizations offering educational/financial solutions or solutions for medical problems, etc. which are masqueraded as news items thereby misleading audience,” the MIB said in a recent advisory to the channels.

Some news channels tend to air such programmes as “exclusive” or “live interview” with the management representatives of the organisations.

“The format of which is made to look like as if it is a regular news programme/panel interview/discussion while there is no indication anywhere on the screen that it is a promotional programme,” the Ministry noted.

The telecast of such programmes is “misleading”, the Ministry remarked, adding that the viewers watch such programmes believing them to be news items.

The airing of programmes in such a manner would be considered as the violation of the programme and advertising code, Deccan Herald reported.

“All the channels are advised to follow the provisions contained in Rule 7(10) of the Advertising Code scrupulously and exercise caution in this regard,” the Ministry said.

Any violation of the provisions of the programme or advertising codes would attract penal provisions stipulated in Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the terms and conditions of uplinking and downlinking guidelines, it added.