Assocham for public body to rein in news channelshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/assocham-for-public-body-to-rein-in-news-channels/

Assocham for public body to rein in news channels

Industry body Assocham has proposed regulation of aggressive news channels by a public body.

Ideating on ways to rein in aggressive news channels,industry body Assocham has proposed regulation of such channels by a public body and making them accountable under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

“It is desirable to introduce appropriate checks and balances so that freedom and democracy are given real meanings and not misused. The way forward is co-regulation,rather than self-regulation,” it said.

At present,there are about 150 news-based channels in the country. These channels are projected to register revenue growth of 14 per cent to Rs 32,000 crore in 2011 compared to the last year,the chamber said.

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has constituted the News Broadcasting Standards (Disputes Redressal) Authority to enforce the NBA’s Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards,which became operational from October 2,2008.

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“Self-regulation is the norm that has high values and noble objectives. But in the context of modern-day broadcasting,where we witness many regional and national channels,self-regulation may not be sufficient,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

The chamber said the extant provisions on programming and advertising under the Cable Act and NBA’s Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards are not sufficient.

“The need of the hour requires an independent regulatory authority providing guidelines to move forward in an inclusive and balanced manner,” Rawat said.

Assocham said the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill does not cover the legal interests of consumers.

What is more,privacy rights and protection of relevant stakeholders have also not been given appropriate attention,it said.