afaqs!

BCCC gets tough on regional channels, too

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | September 04, 2013
STAR Vijay, the Tamil GEC from STAR India and Sun Music, the Tamil music channel from Sun Network, were the first two regional channels to receive orders.

UPDATE: On September, 6, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has withdrawn its order issued to Star Vijay related to the complaint filed by actress Ranjitha Menon and conveyed to the channel that no apology scroll needs to be run until a revised order is passed.

The content-regulatory body of television channels, after receiving a submission from STAR Vijay channel has told it that "our earlier order stands withdrawn and you need not air the said apology scroll from 12 noon on September 9."

The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) seems intent on sending a serious message to broadcasters regarding adherence to guidelines for content telecast by various channels. In the 10th and 11th orders passed by the council upholding complaints against programming, two Tamil language channels have been told off for malicious content.

BCCC

STAR Vijay

Sun Music

On September 2, the council upheld complaints against STAR Vijay, a Tamil GEC from the STAR Network and Sun Music, a Tamil music channel from the Sun Network. Both the channels will have to run apology scrolls, while Sun Music could even pull the offending show off air.

Vada Pochea (You've been fooled), telecast by the music channel Sun Music, features anchors who play pranks on random unsuspecting people. The episode telecast on June, 8 showed a person being accused of theft and was humiliated on air. After examining the said episode, the council found the pranks and gags to be crude and aggressive.

The channel justified its action by arguing that a disclaimer appears before each episode to clarify that 'there was no intention of intimidating anyone through the show'. The council suggested that the content violated two major guidelines, 'harm and offence' and 'violence and crime'. In view of the above, the channel will have to run an apology scroll thrice between 8 pm and 9 pm (which is just before the telecast of the show) on September, 14 and 15.

In the case of STAR Vijay, actor Ranjitha Menon filed a complaint against the channel for telecasting a morphed video showing her in a compromising position with Swami Nithyanand. In its show named 'Nadanthadhu Enna Kutramum Pinnaniyum', the episode telecast on March 21, 2012, the channel had telecast this footage.

The council ruled that the channel is guilty of violating the complainant's privacy and dignity, thereby advising the channel to run an apology scroll every two hours on its channel for seven days starting September 9.

The complaint by Menon was sent to the council by the High Court of Karnataka, where she had filed the writ petition. The HC asked News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and News Broadcasters' Standards Association (NBSA) to look into the matter in case of similar footage. Since STAR Vijay is an entertainment channel, the complaint was routed to BCCC.

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