Saturday, 25 February 2017

What are the various types of Censorships?

Types of Censorships


Types of Censorships

Censorship can be exercised on various mediums, out of these the most common five to face censorship can be-

Censorship in books: Book censorship is when a book is removed from the shelf of a library; this can be enacted at a national or subnational level, and can carry legal penalties for their infraction. Books are often censored in India if they have hurtful content to some religious beliefs and can hence be censored by a religion without carrying legal implications. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie is one such example of a censored book

Censorship in films: Central Board of Film Certification in India oversees release and censorship in films. It is a statutory censorship and classification body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, It is tasked with regulating public exhibition of films under the provisions of Cinematograph Act 1952. It assigns certification to films, television shows and advertisements. Films in India can only be shown after receiving this certification which id at times denied eg Fire (1996) Attacked by Hindu fundamentalist for showing lesbian relationship but was later released, The Pink Mirror (2004) denied rating for homosexual content

Censorship in music: Censorship in music is the practice of restricting free access to musical works. This may stem from a wide variety of motivations like moral, political, military or religious reasons. It can range from complete government enforced legal prohibition of a musical work, to private voluntary removal of content when music work appears in certain context eg Radio edit. A radio edit is a modification to make a song more suitable for airplay adjusting its length, profanity, subject matter, instrumentation or form.

Censorship in maps: Cartographic censorship is a way of dealing with the description of potentially strategically important information on maps that are available to everyone. Such information may include objects such as military bases, transmitters, or power plants. There are different ways in which maps are being censored, on of the better knows measure is the concealing through ‘dead maps’ in which sensitive area is turned grey.

Censorship on the internet: Censorship is done online, stopping certain portals from being accessed by blocking the Indian server gateway. Such practices are done for sites endorsing
  • Pornographic content
  • Threat to law and order
  • National security only


Self- Censorship
Censorship which, when imposed by law, operates as a restriction upon the freedom of the Press, ceases to be so when it is self-imposed.
In many countries, newspapers and journals have together formulated a code of conduct or guidelines they would observe, in order to prevent abuses of the freedom. Though these voluntary guidelines do not operate as binding upon any units, they are usually complied with in order to avert governmental intervention.
Self-censorship imposed by voluntary restraint must be distinguished from the guidelines issued by a censor, an instance which was seen in India during 1975-76 Emergency. Instead of enforcing the censorship order formally, the censoring authority issued guidelines for the Press to the same effect an assurance was obtained from the Press organisations that they would abide by these guidelines. Compliance with such ‘guidelines’ did not constitute self-censorship as the guidelines were not self-imposed.
Prior to the enactment of the Press Council Bill in 1977, the all India Newspapers’ Conference drew up a code of ethics for journalists an in March 1978, appointed a Vigilance Committee to enforce that code.  After the enactment of the Press Council Act 1978, the scope for enforcement of any code of ethics formulated by journalists outside the Press council seemed to have been obviated by reason of the fact that the Act enjoined the Press Council “to build up a code of conduct for newspapers, news agencies and journalists in accordance with high professional standards.”  The code of conduct issued by the council may be said to be self-imposed in so far as the journalists shall have a substantial representation in the press council. The Press council only extends to the print industry but with the coming in of the Broadcast medium the News Broadcasting Association was setup as watch dog to ensure moral and correct practicing of journalistic ethics. The NBA is an association set up by private television and current affair broadcasters. It is an organisation funded entirely by its members and at presently has 28 leading news and current affairs broadcasters. The NBA presents a credible and unified voice before the government, on matters affecting the industry.  The association also comes up with a code of ethics on ensuring morale journalistic practices.

News Broadcasting Association Guidelines

Guidelines for Telecast of News during Emergency Situations
1. All telecast of news relating to armed conflict, internal disturbance, communal violence, public disorder, crime and other similar situations should be tested on the touchstone of “public interest”.
2. The media has the responsibility to disseminate information which is factually accurate and objective.
3. No live reporting should be made that facilitates publicity of any terrorist or militant outfit or its ideology or tends to evoke sympathy for the perpetrators or glamorizes them or their cause or advances the illegal agenda or objectives of the perpetrators.
4. In live reporting of hostage situations or rescue operations, no details of identity, number and status of hostages should be telecast or information given of pending rescue operations or regarding the number of security personnel involved or the methods employed by them.

5. Media should avoid:
a. Live contact with the victims or security personnel or other technical personnel involved or the perpetrators during the course of the incident.
b. Unnecessary repeated or continuous broadcast of archival footage that may tend to re-agitate the mind of the viewers. Archival footage, if shown, should clearly indicate “file”. The date and time be given when feasible.

6. The dead should be treated with dignity and their visuals should not be shown. Special care should be taken in the broadcast of any distressing visuals and graphics showing grief and emotional scenes of victims and relatives which could cause distress to children and families.
These are broad Guidelines and are not meant to be exhaustive.


What are advisories?

Advisories are issued by the government and are similar to press releases; it is used to send newsworthy information to members of the media. However, media advisories are more highly specific. Media advisories tend to deal with event news, and send out information as to how an event is to be dealt with. Unlike press releases, media advisories are not meant for the public eyes.
Within the framework of our constitution certain cases cannot be reported, or shown for public scrutiny. Cases involving minors or rape victims cannot be reported or have to be reported concealing identities of those involved.

Advisories can be of four types-

1) No coverage allowed: When this type of advisory is issued no coverage is allowed at all. Such is done for cases of Rape trials, Juvenile offences to name a few.

2) Partial coverage allowed: Partial coverage is allowed in important cases even for sensitive issues. For example 16th December Delhi rape case the media houses had appealed to the High Court in light of it being a milestone case for the Indian judiciary. The High Court had taken this into account and the media was allowed to cover partial issues of the case.

3) Coverage denied till certain time/ Embargo: In news with an Embargo or a time delaying advisory, broadcast of news can only be done after a certain period of time. For example, the 26/11 convict, AjmalKasab interrogation video was available with the leading media houses but could only be broadcasted after the verdict of the court.

4) Complete coverage allowed: In such cases advisories are only used in place of a press release which is directive or informative to the media houses. It does not deny or delay news or its broadcast in any way.