On National Press Day, Javadekar pitches for self-regulatory body for TV media

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Union Minister Prakash Javadekar (Photo/ANI)
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): Television media should have its own self-regulatory body, said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday while adding that suggestions have already come to make a code of conduct holding news channel accountable.

"TV media should have its own self-regulatory body. An agency headed by Justice AK Sikri has been made to regulate news channels but many of them aren't its members. Suggestions have come in to make code of conduct holding news channel accountable," said Javadekar.

"OTT (over the top) platforms don't have any regulatory body neither they have self-regulation. There's a variety of content on these platforms ranging from good to bad. The media fraternity should themselves take initiative to set an example of responsible freedom," he added.

There is no law or regulatory body that governs online content or OTT platforms. There has been a strong argument in favour of content regulation on the OTT platforms.

The Government recently issued an order bringing online films, audio-visual programmes and online news and current affairs content under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

In a notice, Cabinet Secretariat stated, "In exercise of powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution, the President hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, namely--These rules may be called the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Three Hundred and Fifty-Seventh Amendment Rules, 2020. They shall come into force at once."

In a message at the webinar on the National Press Day by Press Council of India, Javadekar today reiterated that freedom of the press is the cornerstone of our Democracy, but at the same time stressed that it is responsible freedom.

"Freedom of the press is the soul of the public system. Freedom of the press is of great importance. Presently freedom of the press is being discussed again in the country...even I had tweeted that the way press freedom is coming under attack, it is not good," said Javadekar.

The Union Minister further stated, "What is the matter of TRP? The advertisers need a guide as to when and where they should give the advertisements to gain more traction. We never interfered in this willingly but now we have to interfere and we have also appointed a committee to eliminate the possibility of manipulation."

Javadekar said that there are various people in the press council including representatives of reporters, photographers and others but people are demanding to give more power to the press council.

People of the press should themselves accept the challenge to reform the systems in a better way and execute them, in order to establish itself as a model of responsible freedom in the country, as the government does not want to hinder any freedom, the Union Minister stated. (ANI)