Government considering common code of conduct for TV channels
17 Nov 2020: Government considering common code of conduct for TV channels
The central government is considering a new code of conduct for television channels, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.
Javadekar said the government is looking at proposals to strengthen the existing regulatory mechanisms for news media.
He also spoke of the government's efforts toward a regulatory framework for over-the-top (OTT) platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Details: Javadekar was addressing webinar by Press Council
Javadekar was speaking at a webinar organized by the Press Council of India on the 'Role of media during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on media' on National Press Day (November 16).
The Minister addressed the recent allegations of Television Rating Points manipulation by some news channels and said a committee formed by the Ministry will soon submit its report on the matter.
TV: Government considering code of conduct for TV; decision pending: Javadekar
When speaking about the absence of a regulatory body for TV channels, Javadekar said the government is deliberating over a code of conduct for them. A decision on the matter is pending, he said.
"The government deliberately never interfered with it, because if the advertiser and broadcaster are on the same page, then why should we come in between," he said.
TV: 'With freedom comes responsibility'
Javadekar said there have been discussions on giving more power to the PCI, a self-regulatory body with representations from various media houses and the Parliament.
Javadekar added that while the government does not wish to interfere with the press, but "freedom comes with responsibility." Javadekar said a free press is the soul of democracy and asked news portals to avoid sensationalism.
Quote: Many news channels not members of broadcasters' body: Javadekar
Referring to the National Broadcasting Standards Authority, the I&B Minister said, "There is one institution, and anyone can complain to them and they even punish the erring channels." The NBSA is the self-regulatory body for TV news channels.
However, the Minister said, "There are many channels that are not even members. They have no restrictions," adding that such a system cannot co-exist.
Fact: Government receiving suggestions on regulating OTT content
Further, there is no regulatory body for OTT platforms, Javadekar noted. He said the government is receiving suggestions on how to regulate content on such platforms. OTT platforms were recently brought under the ambit of the I&B Ministry.