An internal memo dated November 5, 2011, lists ten points that will govern the media coverage of Aishwarya Rai giving birth to her first born. As the country gets ready to welcome Aishwarya-Abhishek's first child, the media has also readied itself for the big day. Speculations have already begun on when the child will be born.
In an attempt to tone down the celebrity coverage, all news channels have agreed upon a set of guidelines while covering the birth of Ash-Abhi's child and Amitabh Bachchan"s grandchild:
No pre-coverage of the event.
- Story of the birth of the baby to run only after, and on the basis of, official announcement.
- Story not to run on breaking news band.
- No camera or OB vans at hospital or any other location (like the Bachchans" homes Pratiksha or Jalsa) related to the story.
- Channels will only go for photo-op or press conference if invited.
- Channels will not carry any MMS or photo of the child. We can carry if issued by the family
- No astrology show to be done on this issue.
- No 11.11.11 astro shows to be done.
- The duration of story to be around a minute/ninety seconds.
- Obviously, unauthorized entry into hospital not permitted.
Not much is known as to what has prompted the Broadcast Editors" Association to make such a decision. However, it is believed that it is Amitabh Bachchan's recent tweets and blog posting on November 1st that has made the media sit up and think.
Referring to the extra media coverage of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's pregnancy and delivery reports, Amitabh Bachchan posted, “This is sheer desperation – a desire to brush up their screenplay skills, of how to design stories to fill in as it were the hours of time required to be filled in for the channel. Digital facilities have given expanse to no limit of time and usage of film material. It is there by the millions and when over, deleted and started all over again. The still cameras are no less. Invading every possible breach to get something to sell off to the print and the net … and with attitude!"