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Tags Current Affairs

Regulating TV news channels

Date: 26 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Last week, the Supreme Court came down heavily on a TV channel that was intent on broadcasting a controversial content.

 

Background

The Court underlined the need for laying down clear guidelines, and their effective implementation, for the media against hate speech.

 

Details

  • The government has made several attempts in the past to regulate the media but all such attempts came crashing down in the wake of public outcry.

  • Government regulations are not desirable as these could interfere with the freedom of speech and expression enshrined in the Constitution (Article 19).

  • The second alternative is self-regulation. Although ideal, it is easier said than done and continues to be a pipedream.

  • The News Broadcasters Association (NBA), which was set up in 2008, in turn, set up the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), to regulate content.

  • The NBSA does suffer from some serious shortcomings. First, its writ extended only to its members, which was limited due to its voluntary membership. Those who were unhappy with a verdict found it easy to walk out.

  • The government needs to step in to provide this unique model with statutory backing, extending its jurisdiction to non- members as well.

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