Thursday, 10 October 2013

Need For Regulatory Body For Electronic Media

There has been a spurt in complaints about the content being shown on electronic media by a large section of consumers. The rapid growth of revenue-hungry Indian media and recent scandals involving news outlets has prompted growing calls for external regulation, raising concerns about independence of the press. In this context Delhi high court (HC) in the month of April, 2013 recommended the centre to form a regulatory body for electronic media.                                              

High Court's Observations

HC rejected the idea of “self-regulation” mechanism of the broadcasters, adding that absence of state intervention do not guarantee rich media environment. For pluralism and diversity to exist state intervention is necessary at a point.


  • Many of them are haunted by the fear of “Emergency” in which media was heavily suppressed in the name of national security which they haven’t forgot.
  • They consider media as the fourth pillar of democracy & should be independent of other three (i.e. Executive, Legislative and Judiciary).
  • They think that such measures are being used to suppress right to expression.


  • Freedom of expression was not an absolute right so can’t be used against any legislation if enacted against Parliament.
  • In world, it is there. The only problem being it is new to India.


  • Not a complete regulatory body is needed but “co-regulation” is definitely needed.
  • It will help to set a standard for media content and put some punishments in case of violence.
  • Absence of experimentation in the media content which was evident in serial like “Hum Log”. So media has reached a “routinezed” content making and neglecting values.
  • Idea of media for Freedom of speech and expression is totally vague considering the question that actually whose freedom they are talking – whether of media, or its owner, or the common man who has empowered them to exercise this freedom.
  • Public Service Broadcasting (i.e. doing something for the society through media content) be started and used by electronic media content.
  • Media privileges are being used in the same way as “emergency” was used as a tool for some selfish gains.
  • Anyone cannot control view or opinions today. Media should come out of its ghost of emergency times. It is a history today. So a special regulatory body should be made.


MP Meenakshi Natrajan tried to introduce the Print and Electronic Media Standards and Regulation Bill, 2012, which would have given the government sweeping powers over the media, including ability to ban or suspend coverage of an event in the interest of national security. The bill would have also created a regulatory body largely appointed by the government. Natarajan's bill has been shelved in response to a media outcry.


Following are too common in Indian Media:

1. Paid News
2. Pressurizing industrial houses for some “confidential video”
3. Threatening political entity for some investment and political interest
4. Bribery and corruption linking lobbyists to journalist and politicians for “inclusive corruption”.

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