Television broadcasters in India are likely to set up their own regulatory body based on the Hollywood model in the US. This regulatory body is tentatively being called as ‘Broadcasting Standards Council’. A final decision on setting up this Council would be taken at the next board meeting of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), according to sources.
It is believed that the proposal for setting up a ‘Broadcasting Standards Council’ was mooted at a recent meeting of the IBF, which has members from all major TV channels and production houses. The move to set up a separate body for broadcasters indicates that TV channels are not keen on becoming a part of the Media Council, which was recently proposed by the government.
Even as the purpose of the Media Council was to include the electronic media under its ambit, broadcasters’ intention to set up its own ‘Broadcasting Standards Council’ has put a question mark on the proposed Media Council.
The role of the ‘Broadcasting Standards Council’ will be to primarily regulate content in various channels. Since there’s already a programme and advertisement code, the broadcasting council is expected to monitor whether channels are adhering to the code or not.
At present, Press Council of India is the only regulatory body for the media, which includes only print media. With the mushrooming of the TV channels in the country, the government felt that there should be a broader regulatory mechanism, mainly to include the electronic media. There was a talk to include dotcoms also under the Media Council, but it is not clear yet as to whether it’s a feasible idea.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, has already set in motion discussions on the proposed Media Council. Ms Swaraj has held meetings with the stakeholders of the Press Council and members of the IBF to take forward the process of setting up a broader regulatory body spanning the entire media. Now the ball is in the court of the broadcasters to give their inputs on the issue to the minister.