The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has ordered Republic TV to issue a full-screen apology to its viewers for “inappropriate comments” made by its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. NBSA acted on a complaint filed by A. Singh and his partner after Republic TV ran a video alleging that Singh had harassed one of their reporters during a rally of MLA Jignesh Mevani on January 9, 2018.
At the beginning of the debate titled “Jignesh Flop Show”, Goswami had alleged that Singh harassed Republic TV’s reporter and said,
“I want their faces circled more. I want the family members of these cheap, perverse goons to watch their family members doing this … at this event which was the Jignesh flop show. Let’s name and shame these people.”
The faces the complainant was circled after which Goswami also added,
“I am going to show these crude, lewd hyenas/show the dirty faces of lewd, cheap, vulgar, sexist, pervert Anti-Indian goons.”
According to the broadcaster, the complainant was “interfering with the reporting done by the channel’s female reporter by moving towards her in an intimidating and aggressive manner”. However, Singh, in his complaint, said that he was shown as saying, “Koi aapko tang nahi kar raha, aap jhooth bol rahin hain!” (You are lying. nobody is bothering you).
In its order dated August 30, NBSA stated that Republic TV had “violated the code of ethics and broadcasting standards of NBA…and should therefore air an apology”. It also said that the complainant did not use “any objectionable words” or show “any gesture which can be described as ‘lewd’ or ‘threatening'”. Republic TV removed the video from its website as well as from its YouTube account after receiving multiple emails from the complainant.
NBSA is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association.