Media and Mumbai
The deputy commissioner of police argued that the terrorists, who were holed up in two major hotels and became involved in floor-by-floor firefights with police, were gaining tactical information from TV. Using powers under Section 19 of the countryâ€™s Cable Television Networks Act, he ordered a blackout of TV news channels.
â€œTransmission of various clippings/live relay/coverage of the actions being taken by the police against the terrorists in South Mumbai is causing impediment in the police action â€¦ thereby endangering the lives of the police personnel as also of the hostages,â€ the order stated.
Cable and satellite channels went off air for nearly half an hour before the order was rescinded.
Media chiefs present at a meeting between the MIB, the Indian Broadcasting Federation and News Broadcasting Assn. hit back by accusing the government information departments and ministerial interfaces of failing to keep up with developments in the media industry.
They said it was unclear which officials had authority to speak to the media, that government and media had never agreed to procedures for coverage of national emergencies, and that the Press Information Bureau is set up to handle print rather than broadcast and online media.
Through blogs, file-sharing and social networking functions on the Internet, dozens of eyewitness reports, some coming from within the two besieged hotels, delivered information faster than conventional media and challenged some of its reporting. Twitter, a user-generated service that delivers text message-sized â€œtweets,â€ for instance, reported that there was still gunfire inside the Taj Mahal long after Indian media had said it was finished. Others transcribed lists of casualties from the hospitals faster than mainstream media could access it.
By PATRICK FRATER
This entry was posted on Monday, December 1st, 2008 at 12:12 am and is filed under Media, Media, Old Media, Media, Television, War on Terror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.