NBSA imposes 1 lakh fine on News18 Kannada for inciting religious hatred, Rs. 50,000 on Suvarna News, censures Times Now

The News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India (NBSA) has fined two regional news channels, News18 Kannada and Suvarna News and one national English channel Times Now has been censured for gaps in reporting news targeting Tablighi Jamaat members last year, complainant Campaign Against Hate Speech (CAHS) said on Thursday.

The NBSA has imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on three news channels for their biased coverage of the incident of ‘targeting Muslims’, Bar & Bench reported. One of the three channels has also been asked to apologize to its viewers. In March 2020, when the first cases of Covid-19 were being reported in the states, Tablighi Jamaat organized an event which saw the participation of hundreds of people, many foreigners.

The Muslim community was accused of spreading the virus regarding this program. The NBSA has said that the manner in which the three news channels reported the incident was highly objectionable and based on conjecture. The NBSA in its order said – “The tone, color and language (of the programmes) were indecent, prejudiced and derogatory. The programs were prejudiced, inflammatory, and crossed all boundaries regardless of the sentiments of a religious group. Its purpose was to promote and incite hatred among communities.”

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