The intrusive news coverage, especially of the minor accused in the Delhi gangrape case, has prompted the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to advise the TV channels to exercise restraint while reporting on juveniles in conflict with law.
The ministry advised the channels that further labelling of the minor should not take place. The ministry’s advisory has been in response to the complaints made to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) saying the minor accused in the gangrape was termed “most brutal”, “savage”, “beast” among other names.
The complaint said if such vilification continued, even though the matter is yet to be decided by the court, was not in favour of the law. Moreover, the minor will not be able to lead a normal life if he was to be reformed.
The NCPCR took cognizance of such complaints where the minor accused was vilified and asked the I&B Ministry to ensure no further labelling of minor took place. The ministry wrote to news channels last week asking them against revealing the identity of juveniles involved in crime.
In November last year, the ministry had advised the TV channels on strictly following the coverage rules devised by the NCPCR. These rules bar showing face or revealing the real identity of the child - either involved in crime or is victim of crime - either through his family, locality or school.
The guidelines said the media should take care to protect the privacy of the child as publicity could cause stress, and anxiety among children.
Moreover, the children, victims of sexual crimes, trafficking, drug abuse, organised crimes be ensured anonymity for life.