Indian news channels have unanimously agreed to restrict coverage of Abhishek-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s baby, which is due to this month.
In an unprecedented move, the Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) has circulated ten-point guidelines, hoping to avert the inevitable media circus around celebrities in India.
The guidelines include no pre-coverage of the event, no “breaking news” ticker and no astrology story related to the birth.
Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Times Now and BEA vice-president, downplayed the coverage issue.
“Aishwarya’s baby is not a big deal at all. It is just one of the many things that editors discuss”, Goswami told Reuters.
The BEA guidelines also state no unofficial pictures of the child will be broadcast and that no television OB vans will be parked outside the Bachchan residence or the hospital where Aishwarya is expected to give birth.
India has dozens of 24/7 TV news channels, many of whom have been criticised for their high-pitched and melodramatic coverage.
The media has been speculating about the new Bachchan baby ever since Amitabh Bachchan confirmed the pregnancy in June this year. Aishwarya is due to give birth later this month.