Regulators

Prakash Javadekar says UPA government suppressed media

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MUMBAI: “There are 16 crore TV homes in the country, but only 8000 to 9000 peoplemters are being utilised to measure TRPs,” said Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar during his Mumbai visit on 21 June.

The ever smiling Javadekar, did not fail from raising a few relevant issues even during his packed schedule. The Minister addressed the press on two occasions during the day. While he was the chief guest at the 'Narad Gaurav Puraskar' award ceremony organised by the Vishava Sanvad Kendra, he also was present at the Foundation Day celebration of the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh.

Javadekar also stressed on how every channel was fighting to gain the maximum eye balls. “In this quest, every channel claims to be numero uno, but how is that possible and especially with only 8000-9000 peoplemeters measuring TRPs?” he questioned.  

Every form of media, according to the I&B Minister, must evolve their own mechanisms which are independent to behave in a responsible manner. “Since India’s own freedom struggle, the freedom of the press has not come free. Great leaders have sacrificed and therefore the freedom of the press must be preserved,” he emphasised.

The newly appointed Minister also dropped a word of caution. He said, “The UPA government had followed a draconian emergency mindset."  He added that he has come some files pertaining  to a channel called Janam where the previous government had shown tremendous reluctance in providing the necessary licenses as one of its promoters was allegedly a RSS sarsanghchalak. “This should not be the case as the same principles should be followed for all channels,” he expressed.

The channels promoters told a newspaper that they had been given the run around for a couple of years but a licence was issued with the explaination being that one of the channel's promoters is associated with the RSS. They additionally informed the newspaper that those backing Janam  were NRIs and one of the promoters' father was a RSS member.

Javadekar has apparently written about this case to home minister Rajnath Singh, and it's quite possible that its licence will be processed and cleared soon, says the newspaper.

Commenting on the current media scenario, Javadekar concluded by saying that sensationalism is not journalism.

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