Government mulling media commissionFebruary 15th, 2009 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) With the proliferation of new and emerging media like Internet, Internet TV and FM radio, the government is seriously considering a proposal to set up a commission to frame comprehensive guidelines to cover all media.
The charges of irresponsible reporting by some TV news channels following the Mumbai attacks in November last year has stirred the government into taking a fresh look at emerging media and ways to regulate them.
The proposal for setting up a media commission on the lines of earlier such exercises initiated by former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Morarji Desai was discussed at a recent meeting of consultative committee meeting of parliamentarians.
The meeting was chaired by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Anand Sharma.
The minister assured that he will take it up before the cabinet and discuss it with the prime minister, Hannan Mollah, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) MP and a member of the committee, told IANS Sunday.
“The last two media commissions were set up primarily with the print media in mind. In the last two decades, the media has grown a hundred times and new forms have emerged that require regulation,” Mollah said. “It will be unfair to just focus on TV news channels. The media landscape is more diverse now,” he stressed.
“A proper media commission with a wider term of reference should be set up to deal with diversified media. Other members also agreed with the proposal in view of new security issues and terrorist threats,” Mollah said.
Other members of the consultative committee of MPs who attended the meeting Feb 9 included Kirip Chaliha, S. Mallikarjunaiah, Bharatkumar Raut, Ahmed Saeed Malihabadi and Dr V Maitreyan.
The United Progressive Alliance government may initiate the move to set up a media commission, but with the elections barely two months away the proposal may have to wait for a new government to give it form and implement it.
The previous National Democratic Alliance government, too, tried to set up a media commission, but could not succeed due to the lack of an agreement with other political parties.
The proposal to cover all media comes even as the government is grappling with issues relating to regulating TV news channels in the wake of the coverage of the Mumbai attacks, which were decried by many as a threat to national security.
The government’s attempt to impose guidelines, that included using only the approved footage of incidents like the Mumbai terrorist attacks, triggered protests from leading broadcasters who saw it as a gag order. Finally, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to assure broadcasters that no such guidelines will be imposed without the widest possible consultation with all stakeholders.
A few days ago, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) unveiled a set of self-regulatory guidelines that included norms for sting operations. But the government is not convinced that self-regulation in the age of cut-throat competition driven by the race for TRP will work.
The government is also considering setting up a standing media consultative committee, to be chaired by secretary in the ministry of information and broadcasting, officials and leading representatives of the media industry, to look into issues relating to regulation.
- Government amends rules to toughen entry for TV channels - Oct 07, 2011
- Court wants early meeting of panel on media - Mar 07, 2012
- Broadcasters will be consulted on new TV guidelines: Soni - Oct 10, 2011
- Renewal of TV licences: Self-regulatory bodies to be consulted - Dec 09, 2011
- Broadcasting council takes shape to deal with TV complaints - Feb 18, 2011
- No diktat, but open to all-party meet on TV content: Soni - Dec 13, 2011
- Special committee for TRP soon: Ambika Soni - Aug 27, 2012
- Consultations on for regulation of news content on television: Ambika Soni - Nov 30, 2009
- Broadcasters hail passing of digitalisation bill - Dec 14, 2011
- TV reality shows content causes concern in regulatory body - Jul 20, 2012
- Bill to digitalise cable TV passed by Lok Sabha - Dec 13, 2011
- Cabinet clears digitisation of TV broadcasts - Oct 13, 2011
- Govt. proposes "Broadcasting Content Complaints Council" - Feb 18, 2011
- PM sets up experts panel to review, rework GAAR - Jul 13, 2012
- Government sets up media consultative committee - Feb 20, 2009
Tags: alliance government, anand sharma, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, consultative committee, diversified media, fm radio, former prime ministers, hundred times, internet tv, jawaharlal nehru, media landscape, minister of state, morarji desai, news channels, parliamentarians, progressive alliance, raut, saeed, terrorist threats