NBA Content Code put in cold storage

NEW DELHI: The proposed Code of Content drafted by news broadcasters in retaliation to the government's attempt to 'curb press freedom' through the latter's Content Code is gathering dust, with no one in the news TV industry interested in talking about it.

"There is no forward movement and nothing is likely in the short run, that is for sure," said a senior editor who also revealed that the draft that had been placed for the consideration of all news channels is mundane and routine: "there's nothing that can be talked about", the source said.

Arnav Goswami, Editor of "Times Now" channel had been given the task - on behalf of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) of developing a draft Code of Content, with specifics about what would be penalties and who would impose them, but not much of that has found place in the draft, sources said.

The NBA, which has been closely guarded on the issue of their own draft from the beginning, had also decided to rope in news broadcasters beyond the periphery of Delhi and Mumbai based channels to give their proposed Code a national character, but so far this process too has not take off.

"We shall place a Code with the government," said the source. "But that will take a long time, and the government playing on the back foot and the prime minister almost supporting our cause by asking the ministry to go slow, has given us the opportunity."

Sources in the industry say that the news TV channels are not at all seriously inclined towards any Code, and the mandarins are not sure they will ever be able to come to a consensus on the Code the industry itself is developing.

"In a situation where every editor is an intellectual in his own right and with their own egos to serve, it is practically impossible to have a commonly acceptable Code, for each one is going to haggle over every word, all in the name of protecting the rights of the press," a senior broadcast lawyer told

Officially, NBA is not speaking at all, insisting that this is not in the public domain. A senior executive in a broadcasting cmpany said that discussions are going on and "may be in three or four months time this will bear fruit".

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