No laws would be imposed on broadcasters: Soni
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 22:07
  
New Delhi: Allaying fears of broadcasters over content regulation, the Central government today said any regulatory mechanism would be formed only after consultations with stakeholders and the industry's larger interests will be taken into consideration.

"I don't see why broadcasters should have apprehensions about content regulation. I would like to categorically say that the government does not want to put draconian laws on electronic media. However, some ground rules are needed. But no laws would be imposed on broadcasters," Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni said.

Our consultations are already on with broadcasters on what kind of regulatory authority is required. It will be formed through consensus and will also look at broader issues concerning them like taxation etc," Soni said here addressing a seminar of broadcasters.

The talks with stakeholders to evolve a roadmap for such kind of a mechanism are not taking place with any pre-conceived notion and a positive outcome is expected from them, she added.

The minister said with so many channels operating in the country, it is difficult to monitor all of them, therefore the proposed authority will also measure impact of these channels.

‘Challenge is bringing DD at par with pvt news channels’

With national broadcaster Doordarshan completing its 50th year of existence next month, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni today said it was a "challenge" to bring it at par with other private television channels.

"Biggest challenge before the ministry today is to bring DD at par with other channels. DD has a big reach, maximum number of transmitters, even along border areas and funding is also not a problem for it," Soni said.

Though it has to play its mandated role (of a national broadcaster), the Prasar Bharati board will have to re-look and accept this challenge," she added.

She however, added as far as serious news viewing is concerned, people still prefer watching DD News.

Soni also said the government will announce "some kind of a policy on digitisation by the end of this year".

The minister said that digitisation was needed for protecting archives of Indian films, documentaries and television programmes.

On the 100-day agenda of her ministry, Soni said she was apprised of the challenges facing the broadcasting industry and therefore she believed in setting her own time frames to address these issues, as these cannot be tied down to specific timelines.

Bureau Report


First Published: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 22:07


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