Self-regulation should be first step for broadcasters: Soni



New Delhi: The government, which is holding discussions with broadcasters to find a way for improving content creation, on Friday indicated that self-regulation should be the "first step" for them.

"Broadcasters should practice self-regulation. We are in talks with broadcasters on how to device ways to improve content creation. However, I would like to clarify that even as our discussions continue, the government does not favour imposing any law or ban on media and self-regulation should be their first step," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters here.

Earlier, inaugurating an exhibition on broadcast engineers, she said the ministry is committed to improving the technology used by Doordarshan and All India Radio.

"As Doordarshan is the official broadcaster of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games and it would be showing the event on high definition (HD) format, HDTV has to be and is going to be in place before the Games commences," she said.

Soni said though many countries in the world have switched to digital mode of broadcasting, India is still dependent on analog system of transmission and therefore, there should be a deadline for such a shift.

"Worldwide, there has been a complete switch over to digital services from analog system by many countries. However, India has not officially declared its switch over date. We are looking at sometime around 2017 to do so, but as yet there is no final date. It is felt that there should be a definite deadline on this," she said.

Soni said the much-delayed third phase rollout of FM radio stations would be done by the end of the current financial year and that the government is also giving a "serious thought" to a policy on mobile TV.

The minister said she has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) "to look at an apparatus to help the ministry rationalise the fight for TRPs".

She had earlier written to TRAI seeking its views on how to rationalise the number of TV channels that have sought permissions for starting operations.

PTI