NBDSA fines and warns Times Now and Zee News for false and communal reporting against PFI

The news regulating body in Times Now’s case issued a warning to the channel to exercise greater caution in the future when covering such subjects. Additionally, it instructed Times Now to take down the broadcast’s video and all links to it.

The NBDSA issued the directive in response to a news report that the channel aired on September 24. The claim made by the news broadcast that “Pakistan Zindabad” chants were heard during a protest by the Islamic group Popular Front of India in Pune was later refuted.

The order stated that several fact-checking websites had verified the news report and found that the slogans raised during the protest were actually those of the PFI, not Pakistan Zindabad.

The court’s ruling cited Times Now’s use of tickers like “News Break Here First ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans at PFI stir,” “Pak slogans by PFI workers,” and “Pak Zindabad slogans raised,” as well as the anchor’s emphasis on the claims that the slogans were shouted by PFI employees during the protest.

The news regulatory organization stated that Times Now should have been cautious when reporting the story if it had any doubts about the slogans displayed in the video and should have included a disclaimer regarding the video’s veracity.

Zee News painted the population explosion in a communal light: NBDSA

Zee News was criticized by the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority for specifically focusing on the Muslim community in a report on the country’s population growth and for only broadcasting certain statistics to give the subject a communal flavour.

 The Zee News report that targeted Muslims for the rise in the country's population. Credit/ YouTube screenshot
The Zee News report that targeted Muslims for the rise in the country’s population. Credit/ YouTube screenshot

The court’s ruling stated that the broadcast lacked objectivity and neutrality because it overly focused on one religion as the only factor contributing to population growth. “NBDSA observed that it was the broadcaster who had given the issue of population explosion a communal colour by airing unrelated visuals of Muslim gatherings and by selectively sharing statistics about the Hindu-Muslim population,” the order stated.

The broadcast regulator forbade Zee News from airing similar reports going forward. It instructed the channel to air a message informing viewers that its report was found to have broken the broadcasting standards and code of ethics. Additionally, the news channel has been told to take down the program’s video and any links to it.

The news regulatory body also fined News18 India, a Hindi news outlet, on Monday for using offensive language about Muslims during four programs that were hosted by news anchor Aman Chopra. The shows covered a variety of topics, such as glorifying the public flogging of Muslims and making false claims about the community’s population growth.



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