The News Broadcasting Standards Association (NBSA) on 7 January 2013 issued certain guidelines for the television channels to exercise discretion and sensitivity, while reporting the sexual assault cases. Keeping in view, the Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), NBSA directed television channels to keep the identity of the victims involved in sexual assault, hideous.
The guidelines were a result of the Zee News television interview of the friend of Delhi gangrape victim. The name of victim was also disclosed in one international publication.
NBSA while issuing guidelines declared that the news channels needed to keep in mind that the coverage as well as reporting of crime can influence the mindset of viewers, thereby also creating significant impact on perception of their minds for such crimes. The news channels were advised to balance the right to privacy of the survivor as well as his/her family with the public interest. Channels were therefore asked to secrete the identity of victims of sexual assault, aggression and violence.
The issued guidelines declared that in reporting of such sexual crimes on women, victims of juvenile offending and child abuse, the privacy should be respected and name, photographs as well as other private details should not be disclosed.
The television channels were directed to practice sensitivity, sound judgement as well as discretion, especially while disclosing the details of sexual assault because these details re-traumatised the survivor.
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