#IndiasDaughter: The Media Ethics Debate Facing the BBC

On March 5th, British Broadcasting Company made the decision to air the documentary, India’s Daughter. The film is based on the 2012 New Dehli gang rape and murder of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh. Controversy in India began due to the documentary’s interview with Mukesh Singh, one of the four men convicted and sentenced for the murder of Jyoti.

In 2012 the uproar of gender activists protesting the murder of Jyoti brought voice to gender discrimination within India’s society. Now, the BBC documentary has brought opposition back to media lime light.

Activists against the release of India’s Daughter have expressed fear that the interview with Mukesh will weaken the court case and cause change of opinion amongst the jury.

Due to the backlash, India police ordered a court junction blocking the films India debut and any publication of the interview in the media.

The debate on India’s Daughter raises awareness and question on media ethics and censorship. During the recent censorship debate over Sony’s film The Interview, a satire film about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Sony’s decision to override threats allowed the movie to be released as scheduled.

The ongoing debate over the ethics of India’s Daughter brings to question, should society censor sore subjects?

The BBC documentary of India’s Daughter is available for streaming online.

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3 responses to “#IndiasDaughter: The Media Ethics Debate Facing the BBC

  1. Molly Lamoureux

    Should censor sore subjects? Maybe. But will it make a difference? Probably not. With all of the ways to break down fire walls and illegally download/stream just about anything, if someone wants information that isn’t necessarily available to them, they can find it somewhere.

    On that note — if something this controversial is being censored, it will create a lot of talk (i.e., The Interview.) So censoring something this sensitive may have the opposite effect of the original intentions. Instead of sheltering the public, they’re inadvertently motivating the public to find out more.

  2. I actually watched the documentary, and I think it’s a film that needs to be seen. I felt that it was pretty unbiased; members of Jyoti’s family spoke, but so did one of the defendants, lawyers, government officials, and protesters. After Jyoti was killed, the crowd that took to the streets was enormous; clearly, a large portion of India is enraged by the gender discrimination, as well as the violence it often brings. I personally think blocking the documentary’s release was the wrong thing to do. It’s a topic that many want to talk about, not just in India, but all over the world. If society always censored sore subjects, we will be unable to face those sore subjects head-on and find ways to solve problems and evolve.

  3. Although I realize that during a court case it is important for the jury to be shielded from potentially biasing information, I see no reason as to why the public should not be able to view the documentary. I think this would fall into the right of the public to know, especially when the film brings awareness to a relevant topic that affects members (of the public).

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