Trai suggests restriction on political parties, corporates in media: Report 12/08/2014

Trai suggests restriction on political parties, corporates in media: Report
12/08/2014 17:30
In an attempt to ensure plurality of news and views, broadcast regulator Trai suggested restriction on political bodies and corporates entering the television and newspaper business, reported PTI. It also recommended a single independent media regulatory authority comprising predominantly of eminent non media persons for TV and print media to check and impose penalties for “paid news”, “private treaties” and issues related to “editorial independence“. “The entities (political bodies, religious bodies, urban, local, panchayati raj, and other publicly funded bodies, and Central and State Government ministries, departments, companies, undertakings, joint ventures, and government-funded entities and affiliates) to be barred from entry into broadcasting and TV channel distribution sectors,” Trai said. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said that an exit route option should be provided in case permission to any such organisations have already been granted. Commenting on corporates entering media, it said: “On grounds of the inherent conflict of interest, the Authority recommends that ownership restrictions on corporates entering the media should be seriously considered by the Government and the regulator.” With respect to the “media regulator”, Trai said: “Government should not regulate the media; There should be a single regulatory authority for TV and print mediums; the regulatory body should consist of eminent persons from different walks of life, including the media. It should be manned predominantly by eminent non-media persons.” Besides, it said, strengthen arm’s length relationship between Prasar Bharati and government and take measures to ensure functional independence and autonomy.