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Channels should be sensitive, not reveal identities: NBSA

January 07, 2013 20:21 IST

Urging news channels to be sensitive while reporting cases of sexual assault, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority has asked electronic media not to show visuals or details which could 're-traumatise' the victims or reveal their identities.

The NBSA, which is chaired by former Supreme Court Chief Justice J S Verma on Monday came up with guidelines for channels while reporting cases of sexual assault.

Justice Verma is also heading the government appointed committee that is now looking into the laws dealing with crimes against women. In its guidelines related to reporting on matters involving sexual assault, the NBSA has advised channels to balance the survivor's and the family's right to privacy and with public interest.

The NBSA has also said that 'news channels must ensure that no victim of sexual assault, violence, aggression, trauma or a witness to any such acts, is featured in any news report or programme, relating to such victim, without concealing the identity of such person'.

The guidelines assume significance as media focus on crimes against women has increased after the incident in which a 23-year-old was gangraped in a moving bus in the capital sparking a nation wide outrage.

"In reporting cases of sexual assault on women, victims of child abuse and juvenile delinquents, to respect their privacy, the name, photograph and other details that may lead to disclosure of their identity or that of the family shall not be broadcast or divulged," the guidelines state.

News channels must exercise sensitivity, discretion and sound judgement particularly when disclosure of details of the sexual assault would only serve to re-traumatise the  survivor, the NBSA said.

Any visuals shown of the victim must be completely morphed, the NBSA has said.

PTI
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