While watching Mumbai terrorist attack and commando operation live, not many thought of its dangerous consequence. National as well as International TV channels covered the whole operation as they were covering a war (even war reporting has many restrictions).
One of the Malayalam channels claimed that “We are also being part of this historic event in the media by assigning a reporter who is reporting by lying on the battle ground.” Channels who telecasted the Mumbai attacks and its aftermath deliberately ignored a very important matter; that of National Security. The whole world was watching Indian commando operation live.
The terrorists with highly sophisticated technology and equipments could monitor the situation from home and abroad. The Jihadis could watch and plan counter attack against commandos because they were watching the deployment of commandos, their weapons, the locations etc. Even if the hotel room TV connection might have been interrupted, they had options of getting signal through either via satellite phone, laptop, or even there was a chance of getting visuals via mobile phones.
Till the last moment until the ministry of broad-casting warned the visual media about the live telecast, many channels followed suit. By foreseeing the danger Zee TV avoided their live telecast. CNN also put a stop to live coverage later.
Everything is over now. But the visual media authorities should change their mindset. The glamour and rating of TV channels are secondary while considering our national security. When terrorist groups, sponsored by our enemies, is targeting our mother country, media professionals and their management should at least forget the ratings. Here media freedom or right to information is secondary. The event was just spying our nation’s security measures to outside. It was not a cricket match to telecast in such a manner.
Visual Media might be actually trapped on an agenda of terrorists; they wanted their attack get wide media coverage. The media ignored national interest for simple mileage and profitability. The entire world witnessed the whole carnegie on live TV Channels. They could have avoided live footages and if they wanted to telecast it, they could have aired it during later news hours. So both the press freedom and the national interest could have been protected.
Not only visual media is blamed here but the governmental system also. The central government must have been involved in regulating the live footages. They could have prohibited live telecast on the spot. Now the officials feel the mistake .That is why the Indian Naval authority openly blamed visual media for delaying the commando operation because the live coverage helped the terrorist camp.