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More complaints on offence than sex, nudity in TV content:BCCC

BCCC

New Delhi : Signifying a change in trends, Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), the self- regulatory authority for entertainment TV channels, today said it was now getting more complaints under Harm and Offence category than those related to sex, obscenity and nudity.

At a press conference held here, the BCCC released data stating it has addressed a total of 27,676 complaints, including 5,262 specific complaints since inception and said that the Justice (retd) Madhup Mudgal-headed council was mulling setting up of a mechanism through which complaints regarding content on TV could be lodged via Twitter.

“For the period 3 July 2012 to 22 August 2015, the highest percentage (39 per cent) of complaints were related to the theme Harm and Offence, followed by those related to religion and community (28 per cent) of the 4,545 specific complaints,” BCCC secretary general Ashish Sinha said in a statement.

The Harm and Offence theme complaints pertain to portrayal of persons with disabilities, child marriage, abuse or exploitation, stereotyping of women, mistreatment of animals and airing of content offensive to public feeling, BCCC officials said.

This is a marked departure from the earlier trend noted in the First Status Report presented in January 2012, when 47 per cent of complaints were related to sex, obscenity and nudity, they added.

Now only eight per cent of complaints pertain to sex, obscenity and nudity, BCCC said.

“A large number of these complaints were received from the Ministry of I&B and most were against the content of English TV programmes,” BCCC said.

BCCC claimed that the drop in number of complaints about obscenity appeared to be the result from its constant focus in this area adding that the bulk of penal action taken was related to this aspect.

Asked if the lesser number of complaints related to obscenity, reflected a greater level of maturity, the BCCC said that no such study had been done.

Emphasising that the self regulatory mechanism was doing well, BCCC chief Mudgal said there has been 100 per cent compliance of its directions by member channels of Indian Broadcasting Foundation.

Officials said that even Courts and the I&B ministry are directing issues or complaints to it.

The BCCC also said that among complaints relating to crime and violence were nearly 11 per cent of the specific complaints between 3 July 2014 and 22 August 2015. The objections were not only against crime-based shows but also against violence shown in daily soaps as well as reality shows.

Eleven per cent complaints of the 4,545 specific complaints were related to horror programmes while those pertaining to depiction of smoking scenes, consumption of alcohol and drugs were found to be less than one per cent.

Approximately 28 per cent of the complaints under the religion and community theme, where most complaints pertained to mythology-based programmes aired on various channels.

Sinha said BCCC did not go into interpreting mythology as it felt there were various interpretations prevalent and the council did not find itself competent to do so.

Two per cent of the complaints pertained to grievances against depiction of wrong map of India, insult to the National Flag and wrong portrayal of court proceedings.

BCCC also said it has issued 15 detailed orders to channels in which broadcasters were asked to run apology scrolls and in four cases to furnish financial penalties.

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