India’s government is suspending Al Jazeera for five days as a penalty for an error — showing the wrong map of India, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported.
India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry suspended Al Jazeera April 22 to 27 for showing the wrong map in 2013 and 2014. Specifically, the ministry said that Al Jazeera’s error broke the program code.
The maps used by Al Jazeera failed to include parts of India within its boundaries.
The Surveyor General of India “said that a portion of Indian territory has not been shown as a part of Indian territory in some of the maps while the territorial boundary of India is not shown with clarity and proper shape in another map. The channel also did not show Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands in some of the maps, it said,” the Deccan Chronicle reported.
The country’s Interminsterial Committee reviewed the map errors and said the error was “cartographic aggression.” The committee called for the ministry to issue a “deterrent punishment for its misdemeanour,” according to the New Indian Express.
According to the AFP, when the channel was suspended, viewers in India saw a blue screen with the notice “as instructed by the ministry of information and broadcasting, this channel will not be available.”
The wrong maps were shown 12 times between 2013 and 2014, the New Indian Express reported.
Al Jazeera said it got the maps from “internationally-known software used by global news providers.”
Al Jazeera isn’t the only outlet to receive this type of punishment from the ministry, according to New Indian Express. NDTV Good Times and Jai Hind Chanel were both suspended for a day this year “for showing programmes with obscene content.” Satlon News TV was suspended for a month for showing “nude visuals of a TV actor” in a news broadcast and TLC was suspended for a day for airing “unedited sexual language.”
iMediaEthics has written to the ministry and Al Jazeera for comment. We’ll update with any responses.
UPDATE: 4/26/2015 6:21 PM EST Added info from AFP