Mumbai: The industry association for news TV broadcasters, the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), on Monday announced the launch of its special venture, the Digital News Federation (DNF), to uphold the editorial freedom and ensure the business interests of online news platforms.
The NBF established a subcommittee to address the issues confronting existing TV news broadcasters' digital arms. Understanding the industry's needs and issues, NBF has broadened the scope of the subcommittee and decided to include independent digital news publishers as well as their respected members.
Speaking on the new initiative, 24News’ Sreekandan Nair says, "News platforms in India can now work with ultimate freedom without entering into the unethical spread of misinformation or cyber bullying. Digital news platforms, like broadcast news networks, should work with self-restraint."
"The changes in the news and media landscape have been dramatic in the last decade. All print and broadcast news outlets have adapted to it. In order to play a constructive role in this evolution, NBF has launched DNF at the right time and moment for the news industry," said Odisha Television Ltd. managing director Jagi Panda.
DNF aims to represent the collective interests of digital news publishers, as there has been a paradigm shift in the consumption of news media. The objective of DNF is to build transparent, dynamic, and ethical self-regulatory journalistic standards for the industry.
Prag News founder Sanjive Narain comments on the launch, saying, "The launch of DNF will give the much-needed impetus to digital news platforms across the country, which have seen a surge in readership and viewership in the last two years."
"I’m extremely delighted and thrilled with this announcement. NBF has always been ahead of the rest and will continue to charter greater heights," added Fourth Dimension Media CEO Shankar B.
iTV Network founder Kartikeya Sharma said, "I am extremely happy to know that the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) has launched the Digital News Federation (DNF) with tech-collaboration with Webnyay. I am sure the new initiative will work for the collective interests of digital news publishers. I hope it will also help in building a transparent and dynamic eco-system for digital media in the country. It would also be a great pleasure to see that the DNF ultimately creates an ethical structure, fostering the overall growth of digital media."
TV9 Network MD & CEO and DNF vice president Barun Das stated, "The line dividing linear and non-linear news is fast disappearing with the march of technology. It is the most opportune time to imagine broadcast and digital as the two convergent perspectives that foster the creation, distribution, and monetisation of news. The inclusion of digital news publishers to enable a new all-encompassing identity, the Digital News Federation (DNF), is the need of the hour. Digital news publishers haven't yet gotten their fair share in terms of revenue. DNF will work in that direction by initiating dialogues with all stakeholders on behalf of its members."
News Nation’s Manoj Gairola adds, "We welcome the News Broadcaster Federation’s initiative with DNF. Not only the TV news broadcaster’s digital wing will be part of it, but several digital news publishers will be welcomed to associate with us. DNF will be the first self-regulatory body in the whole digital news publishing ecosystem, which will immensely benefit the industry."
DNF is structured as a joint venture between NBF and Webnyay, India's leading grievance redressal and online dispute resolution ecosystem.
DNF begins its journey with close to 100+ online platforms and a combined audience of more than 200 million, both independent and as extensions and digital arms of NBF member TV channels. The decision to launch DNF was taken at the NBF governing board meeting, chaired by the founding president, Arnab Goswami.
"Webnyay is privileged to support the News Broadcasters Federation by providing technology and support to its members and the self-regulatory body for resolving grievances and disputes in an easy-to-use, automated, and seamless manner," said Webnyay founder Vishwam Jindal.
Webnyay is a proprietary technology platform for resolving grievances and disputes online through arbitration and mediation. Webnyay actively collaborates with industry associations to enable grievance redressal and dispute resolution and assists with the drafting of policies, guidelines, and regulations.
The launch of DNF assumes significance with the reach of online news consumption, which is estimated to reach 750 million by 2025, according to EY estimates, while the reach stood at 467 million in 2021, as per ranking agency Comscore. "A majority of this news consumption is now in vernacular languages—as high as 95 per cent—and we believe vernacular news portals will see increased penetration with the proposed launch of low-cost smartphones by telcos," as per a joint industry report by Ficci-EY.