Make discussion on Broadcast Bill more inclusive: IFJ

NEW DELHI: The International Federation of Journalists has urged the Indian government to hold more inclusive consultations and recognise the legitimate interests of journalists in the process of the proposed Broadcast Services Regulation Bill and the Content Code.

This was stated in a memorandum submitted with the endorsement of the National Union of Journalists (India) an IFJ affiliate, and two local unions from Mumbai and Delhi.

“We understand that the most recent draft of the Broadcast Bill that has been circulated for public debate is the fourth in a decade”, said IFJ Asia Pacific Director Jacqueline Park. “That its future is still uncertain, speaks of a failure of consensus-building around the purported aims of broadcast law reform”.

The IFJ has been advised by affiliates and other like-minded organisations in India that the Broadcast Services Regulation Bill in its most recent version is not dissimilar to a draft that was introduced, discussed and abandoned last year. The only respect in which the current legislative proposals differ from those of 2006 is in the introduction of a set of “guidelines” for broadcasters, or a “content code”.

“While we can appreciate a regulatory regime that seeks to curtail cross-media ownership and ensure that the broadcast spectrum is preserved as a public resource, we do not see the utility of regulating content,” said Park.

The IFJ has learnt through its affiliates that the Indian Penal Code as it now exists is adequate to deal with instances of gross abuse of media autonomy. Competent legal opinion has held that there is no basis for the prior restraint of the right to free speech, since the punitive powers available are sufficient to sanction all offences post facto.

“In the circumstances,” said Park, “the purpose of broadcast law reform should be little less than to give effect to the historic judgment of the Indian Supreme Court, that the airwaves are a public resource, which should be allocated in accordance with a broad definition of public interest.”

The IFJ, in consultation with affiliated unions and other civil society groups, would like to urge the Indian government to broaden its consultations and to explicitly grant the demand of the professional community of journalists, to be heard in the process of broadcast law reform.

Latest Reads
Sony Entertainment climbs to second position, Zee Anmol retains lead in two markets

While Zee Anmol retained lead in two markets, KBC-backed Sony Entertainment bagged the second position with high ratings in the urban market. Zee Anmol retained lead in Hindi (U+R) and rural markets, whereas Star Plus led the urban market in week 37 of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC)...

Television TV Channels Viewership
English News ratings' slide continues although Republic TV viewership improves slightly

The Arnab Goswami headed Indian English News channel Republic TV has been leading the genre in terms of viewership right from week 19 of 2017, the week the channel was launched.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Sports: Star India channels pocket four out of top five slots

One would easily spot Star India taking over four of the top five positions in BARC India's week 37 sports ratings data, doubling its tally as compared to week 36. Last week, Sony had conquered three slots out of the top five list.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Nine Doordarshan 'kendras' fail to utilise budget for Kisan channel

NEW DELHI: Nine Doordarshan 'kendras' (centres) including four in the northeast failed to utilise budgetary allocation for Kisan channel programmes in the first quarter of 2017-18. On the other hand, the Central Production Centre in Delhi exceeded using its allocated budget.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
Dishum Broadcasting appoints Partha Dey as COO

Dishum Broadcasting has appointed Partha Dey as the chief operating officer (COO), reporting to the board of directors. His new portfolio would include overseeing and managing broadcasting operations including programming, OAP, consumer research and branded content.

Television TV Channels People
&Privé HD ropes in Fiama and Vaseline, premieres with 'Moonlight' on Sunday

ZEEL's new channel &Privé HD, which promises to treat cinema lovers, through collaborations with Hollywood studios -- Sony Pictures and Paramount, has roped in partners Fiama and Vaseline.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
ZEEL CEO Punit Goenka motivates youth, honours his one-millionth Twitter follower and family

One of the leading traditional Indian broadcasters ZEEL acknowledges and recognises the importance of new media. It has kept its promise with India's social media enthusiasts and followers, and honoured them.

Television TV Channels GECs
Most TV execs can't sell streamlined multichannel ads, rely on homegrown tech: Study

Most TV companies are unprepared for advanced TV, a research has revealed.

Television TV Channels People
New NBA president Rajat Sharma to strive for healthy competition in fraternity

India TV founder and chairman Rajat Sharma has been elected as the president of News Broadcasters Association (NBA).

Television TV Channels People

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories