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Ahead of LS Poll Results, Centre Warns Broadcasters Against Airing News on Entertainment Channels

The ministry directive made no mention of potential penalties that may be imposed should any channel fail to comply.

News18.com

Updated:May 22, 2019, 8:11 PM IST
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Ahead of LS Poll Results, Centre Warns Broadcasters Against Airing News on Entertainment Channels
People stand in queues to cast their votes at a polling booth. (News18)

New Delhi: Reiterating an already existing mandate, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Wednesday warned non-news television channels from airing news content, a day before results for the Lok Sabha elections are declared.

I&B Ministry Director (BC) Amit Katoch issued a communication to all private satellite television channels spelling out the differences in the nature of content being aired.

The directive reiterated the mandates issued to all television channels, which divide them into two categories — non-news and current affairs, and news and current affairs. All non-news satellite television channels are prohibited from carrying any content related to news and current affairs and are solely meant for broadcasting entertainment content.

A 'news and current affairs TV channel' means a channel which has elements of news and current affairs in its programme content.

At the time of applying for a non-news TV channel, the applicant company gives an undertaking that the proposed channel is purely an entertainment channel and does not have any news or current affairs based programme.

"It is hereby advised that all TV channels may strictly ensure that there is no violation of the aforementioned conditions of the guidelines," said the directive.

However, the communication makes no mention of potential penalties that may be imposed should any channel fail to comply.

After seven phases spread over 38 says, the counting of votes will begin at 8 am on May 23.

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