Visual media has devastating effect, nobody has time to read newspapers: SC on hate speech


PTI, Sep 21, 2022, 8:12 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said it made reference to TV news channels while hearing pleas related to hate speech because visual media has got a ”devastating” effect, and nobody cares what is written in newspapers as people are bereft of time to read.

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy refused to implead the Press Council of India and the National Association of Broadcasters as parties to a batch of petitions related to hate speech and rumourmongering.

”We made reference to TV news channels because the hate speech is through the visual medium. If somebody writes something in newspapers, nobody reads it nowadays. Nobody has time to read newspapers. ”Visual media has got the power which has been recognised right from cases relating to censorship. The difference between visual media and print media is so clear. It (visual media) has got a devastating effect,” the bench observed.

The remarks came after advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is one of the petitioners in the matter, sought to implead the Press Council of India and the National Association of Broadcasters as parties to the case.

The apex court stressed the need for a regulatory mechanism to curb hate speech.

It appointed senior advocate Sanjay Hegde as amicus curiae and asked him to collate the responses of the states on the batch of petitions.

The top court has posted the cases for hearing on November 23.

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