Broadcast Body Asks Republic TV To Apologise For Using Derogatory Language
Notable journalist and news anchor, Arnab Goswami, who is the managing director at the Republic TV- a channel that he co-founded with BJP MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar in 2017, has been ordered by the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) on August 30 to air a full screen apology to its viewers after the NBSA received a complaint regarding inappropriate comments made by him.
Goswami had claimed during a show aired in January earlier this year that the complainant Apurva Singh, a lawyer, was one of the people who had allegedly harassed their reporter Shivani Gupta during Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani’s ‘flop show’ rally. During the incident, Gupta had to be escorted by the police after several people allegedly heckled her in the middle of her report on the absence of supporters at the rally.
For Urgent attention of Media :
Here is the copy of National Broadcasting Authority of India's order asking Republic TV to tender fullscreen apology for using defamatory stuff against me & our team in its coverage of 'Yuva Hunkar Rally' back in Jan. Shame on Banana Republic. pic.twitter.com/9QrnYWAife
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) September 4, 2018
Jignesh Mevani tweets the order
The NBSA is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association. They said, “the broadcaster shall, prior to the commencement of the 9 PM news on 7/9/2018 (this Friday), air the following text (static) on its channel (Republic TV), on full screen in large font size with a clearly audible voice-over (in slow speed) expressing regret on its channel by stating the following:”, as reported by Newslaundry.
The Republic TV broadcast
Singh and his wife had filed a complaint against Republic TV on 29 January this year, claiming that the channel had aired the complainant’s image with red dots around his head falsely accusing him of harassing its News Editor Ms Shivani Gupta by moving towards her in an intimidating and aggressive manner during the Gujarat MLA’s rally on January 9.
In the video, Singh was shown as saying, “Koi aapko tang nahi kar raha, aap jhooth bol rahin hain! (Nobody is bothering you, you are lying!).”
He accused the broadcast to be targeting Singh and indulging in name-calling against him, hurling derogatory comments at him multiple times during the hour-long debate, calling him a “vulgar thug”, “pervert”, “goon”, “sexist”, “hyena” and “anti-Indian.”
Screenshot | Source: MediaVigil
“I want their faces circled more; I want the family members of these cheap, perverse goons to watch [them] doing this…Let’s name and shame these people,” Goswami said in his show while playing a video clip of the incident.
#JigneshFlopShow | Arnab: Tonight, I will put out videos circling the pictures of the vulgar thugs who tried to intimidate @ShivaniGupta_5 and failed. Republic reporters represent young India much better than your goons, @jigneshmevani80 https://t.co/lpnVZxoMbs
— Republic (@republic) January 9, 2018
The NBSA order on August 30
The NBSA said that it was the channel’s responsibility to maintain accuracy and balance over speed. The NBSA termed the comments by the show’s anchor Arnab Goswami to be unwarranted, unjustified and in violation of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards of NBA and the specific guidelines covering Reportage which requires the reporting content to be free of crude, offensive or coarse language.
According to the statement by the NBSA in its August 30 order, “the footage does not show usage of any objectionable words by the complainant or any gesture which can be described as lewd or threatening.”
As such, the channel revealed in its response to the complaint that it was only concerned for the safety of their reporter. The Republic TV has also filed a police complaint with the Parliament Street Police Station regarding the harassment, which is undergoing investigation as of September 4.
As reported by the Scroll, Singh is not the first person falsely accused by the Republic TV about this incident. The channel had circled ABP news reporter Jainendra Kumar’s face, prompting Goswami to accuse him of harassing the reporter as well, without realising Kumar was another reporter covering the same event. The Republic TV had issued a public apology to the reporter the very next day, claiming the misunderstanding was due to an unintentional oversight by their video editor.
The Logical Indian Take
Media is the fourth pillar of our democracy, responsible for spreading awareness amongst the masses about what goes on in our country. All journalists and reporters must present the verified facts and not indulge in derogatory comments and childish name calling. Unethical reports like the one presented by a journalist of Goswami’s calibre are regrettable.