‘Could Affect Communal Harmony’: News18 Fined Rs 50,000 Over Hijab Ban Debate

The NBDSA held that News18 anchor Aman Chopra had acted in "flagrant disrespect" and violated the Code of Ethics.

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'Could Affect Communal Harmony': News18 Fined Rs 50,000 Over Hijab Ban Debate

News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has fined News18 India Rs 50,000 for comparing the hijab-supporting panelists with Al Qaeda.

NBDSA said it strongly deprecated the tendency of the broadcaster by labeling them as “Zawahari gang member”, “Zawahiri’s ambassador”, “Zawahiri is your God, you are his fan”.

The NBDSA also raised alarm for airing tickers such as “#AlQaedaGangExposed”, “Hijab ka fata poster, nikla Al Qaeda”, “Al Zawahiri found behind the Hijab”, ” Al Qaeda has planned the hijab controversy”.

“The NBDSA observed that the anchor had not only acted in flagrant disrespect of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and the Specific Guidelines Covering Reportage but also failed to abide by the decision of the Honorable Bombay High Court,” the statement read.

The NBDSA also pointed out that on many occasions the Supreme Court stressed the role of an anchor in a news program by maintaining a balance between the panelists.

“However, in the instant case, not only had the anchor failed to stop the other panelists from crossing the boundary but had given them a platform to express extreme views which could adversely affect the communal harmony in the country,” the statement read.

NBDSA further directed News18 and Aman Chopra to remove the video of the program from its website and all platforms. It should be confirmed in writing within seven days of the Order.

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