News18 Kannada, Suvarna News Fined, Times Now Censured Over ‘Hate Content’, Falsely Vilifying Tablighi Jamat, Muslim Community
The National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) on 16 June issued orders against two Kannada news channels – News18 Kannada and Suvarna News, and one English news channel – Times Now over ‘inciting hatred’ through their coverage of the pandemic by falsely targeting and vilifying members of Tablighi Jamaat as well as the entire Muslim community.
News18 Kannada has been imposed a fine of Rs One lakh and ordered to air an apology in both text and voice-over on June 23, 2021, prior to the 9 pm news. Suvarna News has been imposed a fine of Rs 50,000. Both channels have been ordered to immediately remove the ‘hateful’ broadcasts from their channel’s websites, Youtube and other platforms within 7 days.
The authority acted based on the complaints filed by the Campaign Against Hate Speech (CAHS) in 2020. “The programmes were prejudicial, inflammatory, and crossed all boundaries of good taste and sensibility without any concern for the feelings of a religious group,” NBSA noted in its order…. The authority rejected the defense taken by the broadcasters to the right to free speech and the role of the media and stated that the “right to free speech came with reasonable restrictions”….