Content regulation draft to be redone

NEW DELHI: Unhappy with the draft that has been prepared on content regulation, information and broadcasting secretary SK Arora has asked the panel responsible to rework it.

Though no specific reasons were cited, the ministry is apparently unhappy with the way some of the issues have been dealt with as also the length of the 65-page draft, which is seen as being too unwieldy.

Earlier in the week, Arora, who heads a 30-member committee comprising representatives from industry, trade and consumer bodies, conveyed his observations to a sub-panel handling the content regulation draft.

However, no time frame has been set for the work to be redone, which is an indicator that the government might bring in such a regulation through an existing piece of legislation instead of waiting for the proposed Broadcast Bill 2006 to be enacted into law.

The draft aims at regulating and setting parameters for content to be aired on TV and radio networks, including broadcast of adult fare and sting ops done by news channels.

A peek into a section of this draft also highlights that the proposed legislation could not only hamper functioning of news channels, but is also intrusive.

If okayed by lawmakers in its present state, it could well be the end of sting operations and coverage of issues where high profile politicians and personalities are involved.

Sample this part: TV channels must not use material relating to persons personal or private affairs or which invades an individual's privacy unless there is an identifiable public interest reason for the material to be broadcast.

Who decides what constitutes an individual’s privacy? The government or the regulator, of course.

Examples of public interest would include, according to the draft, revealing or detecting crime, protecting public health or safety, exposing misleading claims made by individuals or organizations or disclosing incompetence that affects the public.

Nowhere does the proposed regulation dwell on misuse of official power by a public personality --- an issue that’s increasingly becoming rampant in India.

The draft then goes on to state that news should not jeopardize any ongoing criminal investigations and (TV channels) should avoid a trial by media since “a man is innocent till proven guilty by law”.

Now this could also mean that if a politician’s son is being tried by law for using drugs in the official residence, TV news should not do extensive coverage of the incident. However, the draft regulation is silent what should be done in case such accused themselves go on air and 'use' the media to influence opinion making.

“Channels mounting sting operations with use of hidden cameras and recording devices are required to strictly adhere to the rules prescribed,” the draft states, going on to put the onus on TV news channels of proving such a programme is in public interest.

Latest Reads
TV channels cite logistical challenges in broadcast for the disabled

NEW DELHI: A debate on broadcasting for persons with disabilities (PWDs) has thrown up more questions than solutions. TV channels have stated that though desirable, the process is expensive and challenging, for instance, in case of live events and that before setting guidelines for private...

Regulators TRAI
Dish TV bemoans govt's neglect of DTH sector

MUMBAI: Dish TV, while lamenting neglect and step-motherly treatment of the whole DTH sector by the government, has exhorted policy-makers to remove various discriminations in the licencing conditions of various distribution platforms as it has resulted in taxing times for DTH operators.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Right time for India-centric global news channel: Smriti Irani

MUMBAI: Information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Smriti Irani is ready to take India abroad. The minister has said it is the right time for the state-owned broadcaster to launch a news channel focused on India for the international market, although she added that no decision has been taken...

Regulators I&B Ministry
MIB admits no DTH infra sharing permission sought

NEW DELHI: Despite the initial hype and enthusiasm over infrastructure sharing by broadcast, cable and satellite-delivered service players (such as DTH operators) and lengthy suggestions on the subject by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the government has admitted no stakeholder...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Law ministry likely to give opinion on DTH guidelines review

Even as the government admitted in Parliament yesterday that it has granted six companies licenses to operate DTH services in India, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has, reportedly, referred to the Law Ministry a long-pending proposal to review DTH guidelines in the country

Regulators TRAI
MIB says fewer TV channels violating ad, prog norms

NEW DELHI: Indian channels seem to be finally toeing the line. The number of TV channels violating codes has been on a decline over the years. As many as 54 private television channels have violated the programme and advertising codes since 2014, though the number has been dipping, the Lok Sabha (...

Regulators I&B Ministry
No proposal to ban junk food ads on TV: Smriti Irani

Childhood obesity is a rising problem in India. The issue was addressed in today’s Lok Sabha session when a reply was sought from the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani on whether the government is aware of the study that correlates watching ads on TV with increasing habit of...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Broadcasters, DPOs oppose TV channel auction proposal

NEW DELHI: Most big and small broadcasting companies owning and operating TV channels in India, along with distribution platforms, have categorically opposed any move by the government to auction satellite TV channels as a complete package similar to FM radio channels.

Regulators TRAI
MIB mulls broadcast of DD News to 100 countries

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is contemplating its expansion of Doordarshan's 24-hour news broadcast to around 100 countries with a view to reaching out to the world and putting forth India’s viewpoint on domestic and international issues, according to an Economic Times report.

Regulators I&B Ministry

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories