NBDSA issues guidelines for responsible reporting on LGBTQIA+ community

The guidelines urge broadcasters to avoid airing any news which sensationalises the issues related to LGBTQIA+ community, perpetuates stereotypes or creates undue fear in respect of the community.

By  Storyboard18Mar 1, 2024 2:23 PM
NBDSA issues guidelines for responsible reporting on LGBTQIA+ community
Since news media has the most potent influence on public opinion, broadcasters while reporting on any member of the LGBTQIA+ community have been requested to use inclusive and gender-neutral language, respect the individuals preferred pronouns and names. (Representative image by Mercedes Mehling via Unsplash)

The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has issued guidelines urging media platforms to broadcast information about the LGBTQIA+ community accurately, objectively, and sensitively. This move comes in response to concerns about negative social impacts resulting from non-sensitive and inaccurate reporting on this community.

Apart from following the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Guidelines, members while broadcasting on issues concerning the LGBIQIA+ community, must adhere to the following guidelines:-

1. That specific guidelines covering reportage state that ‘reporting should not sensationalise or create panic, distress or undue fear among viewers.’ Therefore, in view of the aforementioned guidelines, broadcasters must avoid broadcasting any news which sensationalises the issues related to LGBTQIA+ community, perpetuates stereotypes or creates undue fear in respect of the community.

2. That the guidelines for prevention of hate speech require editors, editorial personnel, anchors, journalists and presenters to refrain from ‘Using any and all forms of expression which, when judged contextually, targets, vilifies, ridicules, debumanizes, reinforces prejudices or stereotypes and/ or advocates violence or engenders hatred against any individnal and / or communities based on their religion, gender, race, national or ethnic origin and or sexual orientation.’

In view of the aforementioned guidelines, broadcasters must refrain from using any expression or slurs which may be construed as Hate Speech against the LGBTQIA+ community. While reporting any issue concerning the LGBTQIA + community, broadcasters must ensure that reporting does not promote homophobia or transphobia or negative stereotypes about the LGBIQIA + community.

3. That the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards requires as a rule that ‘channels must not intrade on private lives, or personal affairs of individuals, unless there is a dearh established larger and identifiable public interest for such a broadcast’.

That apart, privacy is also treated as a Fundamental Right of every citizen by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and therefore needs to be honored. In view of the above, Broadcasters must respect the privacy of LGBTQIA+ individuals and not disclose the personal information, including gender identity or sexual orientation of a person without their consent.

4. That since news media has the most potent influence on public opinion, broadcasters while reporting on any member of the LGBTQIA+ community must endeavour to use inclusive and gender-neutral language, respect the individuals preferred pronouns and names.

5. That as far as possible, Broadcasters while reporting on any issue concerning the EGBTQIA+ community must strive for diverse representation and ensure that voices from different segments of the LGBTQIA+ community are provided a platform to express their views.


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First Published on Mar 1, 2024 2:23 PM

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