Broadcasting needs regulator: Prasad

NEW DELHI: Minister for information and broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that there is a definite need for a separate regulatory body for electronic media.


Speaking on the occasion of the National Press Day celebrations here yesterday (Sunday), the minister indicated that the Press Council of India's recommendations, on the need to have a mechanism aimed at regulating the fast growing television network, was under active consideration.

He said the content and advertisement on televisions need to be codified and he proposes to put the issue to national debate before arriving at an applicable conclusion.

According to Prasad, empowerment of the Press Council was desirable but not at the cost of impinging on the freedom of press.

The minister said the media has a vital role to play in strengthening the democracy and, thus, acquires a natural right to inform without fear. A free press can exist in a vibrant democracy therefore it is imperative on the part of press to strengthen democracy. It needs to keep in mind the grass-root realities and report without any biases. The right to inform has to be the integral role of media it should also shun pessimism and notice positive developments of the society, he added.

Prasad said that the media in India is undergoing a "total metamorphosis" and its institutional role was being threatened by corporate commerce. The traditional role of media has come under question because of immense competition and cross-media ownership, he pointed out.

Pointing out that the institutional role of media needs prominence and the government on its part has no intention to intervene, Prasad said that the same time media also needs to be careful and a responsible pillar of society.

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