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MIB pulls up Russia Today for airing indecent content

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information
and Broadcasting (MIB) has pulled up
Moscow-based channel Russia Today
for airing a video clip containing
several indecent shots last year.
Russia Today was issued an advisory to
adhere to the Programme and
Advertising Codes. In its advisory, the
Ministry said a show cause notice was
issued to the channel after it was
noticed that in December last year it
ran visuals which appeared offending
against good taste and decency.
Responding to the notice, Lamhas
Satellite Services Limited, the
distribution partner of Russia Today,
submitted that they did not
intentionally or unintentionally try to
vilify the portrayal of women in
general and that the show was an
extract of another programme purely
based on abstract, experimental
artistic pursuit as depicted in the clip.
It added that the channel did not aim
at objectification of women in a
detrimental way while also apologising
on behalf of the channel. The company
said that they had instructed Russia
Today Channel to strictly abide by the
Cable TV Regulation Act.
Russia Today has also apologised for
the mistake and assured that it will be
more careful and vigilant about the
content exhibited in India.
A representative of the channel
appeared before an inter-ministerial
committee (IMC) which looked into the
matter and admitted that it was a
mistake on their part to telecast the
The representative added that the
programme was telecast during late
hours under the impression that it
would be watched by adult persons only
and, thus, would not be treated as a
Post the examination; the committee
felt that Russia Today appeared to be
ignorant of some rules as they were
referring to ‘Watershed hour’ concept
which may be there in some countries
but is not a part of the Programme
However, considering that the channel
had apologised and expressed
willingness to abide by rules in
future, the committee also noted that
this was the first show cause notice
for Russia Today, indicating that they
normally have followed the
Programme Code.
Emphasising that a foreign TV channel
needs to be aware of rules of the
country in which they broadcast, the
committee recommended issuing an
advisory to Russia Today.

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