Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said on Thursday that law, ethics and rules need to be established to prevent a single player from dominating the digital media industry. Irani made the remark at the inaugural session of the 15th Asian Media Summit, which is being held here.
India is expected to have nearly 969 million Internet users in the next three years, Irani said. “This is the time to put laws, ethics and rules into place which helps us balance out the industry, so that we don’t have one dominant player,” she said.
Do we look at the new evolving technologies from a position of suspect, Irani asked, “or do we look at it from a position of opportunity, from a position of consolidation or further expansion”.
On April 4, the I&B Ministry set up a panel to regulate online media and “delineate the sphere of online information dissemination which needs to be brought under regulation, on the lines applicable to print and electronic media”.
According to the order, which led to the formation of the committee, content on private television channels were regulated by the Programme and Advertisement Codes, while Press Council of India’s norms regulated the print media. It further noted that no such norms or guidelines existed to regulate online media websites and news portals. “Therefore, it has been decided to constitute a committee to frame and suggest a regulatory framework for online media/news portals…” the order stated.