Mechanism on anvil to check TV channels’ sensationalism

July 1st, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Aarushi Talwar

Kolkata, July 1 (IANS) The government is considering a monitoring mechanism to stop television channels from resorting to “sensationalism” to gain popularity, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said Tuesday. Speaking to newspersons in Malda, Dasmunsi flayed the sensational news coverage by some television channels.

“Several channels are indulging in sensational excesses to increase their TRP ratings,” Dasmunsi said.

He also referred to the sensational coverage on television channels of Noida girl Aarushi Talwar’s murder in May.

The minister said there would be two rounds of meetings between private channels and officials from various ministries on the proposed monitoring mechanism and allied issues.

“I don’t want to impose any unilateral decision on the media. The meetings will be held next week and in August,” he said.

Meanwhile, Women and Dhild Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury charged many reality shows of violating child rights.

The two ministers’ fulminations followed a national outcry after teenaged Shinjini Sengupta lost her voice and movements of limbs, reportedly after she was publicly rebuked and humiliated by judges of a reality show.

“Parents should not send their wards to reality shows. I don’t know why they send their children to such shows,” Chowdhury said after inaugurating a workshop here on amendment to Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

“I have seen small girls gyrating to songs (on these reality shows) whose meanings they hardly understand,” she said.

However, she also pointed out that Shinjini’s parents sent her to the reality show despite knowing she had a spinal chord problem.

Shinjini, a 16-year-old Kolkata girl, lost her voice and movement after she was allegedly rebuked by judges of a TV reality show May 19. As her condition deteriorated, she was flown in to Bangalore where she is currently undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans).

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