India being a maturing radio industry requires a formal self regulation mechanism that provides uniform guidelines to radio players across the nation, says Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City.
Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) aims at strengthening self regulation mechanism in the radio industry this year. With Purohit leading the initiative, a content complaints redressal mechanism will be designed to provide a standard code of conduct for the entire radio fraternity.
Commenting on the need of content complaints redressal mechanism, Purohit said, “Ultimately we are a part of a larger broadcast fraternity and the government has been asking for a self regulation mechanism. And I think it is only fair that we put in a formal processing system, so if there is a complaint, a redressal mechanism present.”
While there have been a number of complaints against content on television, radio content has a history which is very clean and well regulated. Most of the radio stations follow the code of ethics provided by All India Radio (AIR) and usually think on similar lines in terms of which content should be aired.
According to Purohit, informally all the players have always operated on an invisible self regulation mechanism. Thus, if there is an advertisement or promo in question, there is a discussion within the industry before taking a call.
With the arrival of Phase III, the requirement of a self regulation mechanism will only increase. With the expansion, there will very soon be a situation where 400 cities will have 800 frequencies, and then establishing a formal code of conduct will be all the more difficult.
“When it is 80 cities, it is ultimately controlled by 30-40 players. They know what the informal rules are. But when there are 100-200 players you need a formal mechanism,” added Purohit.
Is AROI trying to build something on the lines of Broadcasting Content Complains Council?
Purohit tells exchange4media that the content complains redressal mechanism will have few parts taken from AIR code of ethics. They will also be looking at provisions made by television industry for the same, to build an efficiently functioning system.
While there is no definite structure ready yet, Purohit says people across all the fields will be approached to give their expertise in the development of the mechanism. “We are looking at people from other media such as print, television, advertising fraternity and ex-bureaucrats,” said Purohit.
This year AROI plans on strengthening existing mechanisms such as Listenership Measurement System. A full-time copyright board and an advertisement control mechanism, including an outstanding policy and accreditation process are also on cards this year.
Appointed executives are currently working with a one-month deadline and will be able to say more at the end of it.