The New Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has released guidelines for reportage on issues concerning the LGBTQIA+. It said this is being done so broadcasters report on this community “accurately, objectively and sensitively” particularly as non-sensitive and inaccurate reportage can have social repercussions.

It said that broadcasters must “avoid telecasting any news which sensationalises the issues related to LGBTQIA+ community, perpetuates stereotypes or creates undue fear in respect of the community.”

Broadcasters must also refrain from using any expression or slurs which may be construed as Hate Speech against the LGBTQIA+ community, the guidelines added. “ Broadcasters must ensure that reporting does not promote homophobia or transphobia or negative stereotypes about the LGBTQIA+ community,” it added.

Potent influence

Stating that “Fundamental Rights” of every citizen needs to be honored, it added that broadcasters must respect the privacy of members of this community and should not include their personal information, including gender identity or sexual orientation without their consent.

“Since news media has the most potent influence on public opinion, Broadcasters while reporting on any member of the LGBTQIA+ community must endeavor to use inclusive and gender-neutral language, respect the individuals’ preferred pronouns and names,” it added.

It also said that while doing such reportage, the broadcasters must strive for diverse representation. NBDSA has been set up by the News Broadcasters & Digital Association, a self-regulatory body, and looks into complaints against broadcasters.