Top Story

Home >> Media-TV >> Article

State cannot subject media to restrictions: BEA General Secretary

08-May-2017
Font Size   16
State cannot subject media to restrictions: BEA General Secretary

The Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry’s reported decision to establish a regulatory body to address content-specific complaints against private television channels and radio stations has failed to cut ice with the Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA). Speaking to exchange4media, BEA General Secretary NK Singh hit out at the government arguing that the state cannot subject media to undue restrictions in the name of public interest. “Even the Constitution makers have not given such a power to the state,” said Singh.

Referring to Article 19(2) of the Constitution which deals with reasonable restrictions on free speech, he pointed out that the government can curb speech on various grounds including defamation and public order, but not public interest. He juxtaposed the concerned provisions with Article 19(6) associated with the freedom of profession. In the case of the latter, the government can impose restrictions in the interest of the general public.

“The government must understand this fundamental difference,” said Singh, as he noted that their notion of venturing into the realm of media regulation is misplaced. While freedom of the press is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, it flows from the freedom of speech guaranteed as a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a). “In any mature democracy, one cannot accept this kind of power that enables the state to regulate the media. Any such misadventure from the government’s side will not be countenanced by the media,” he added.

The BEA has not yet formally approached the government since they are waiting for tangible evidence which corroborates reports of a government-sponsored regulatory body. According to a leading English language newspaper, the government’s one-stop regulator will put an end to the practice of self-regulation. As of now, bodies such as the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) play a prominent role in initiating action against erring advertisers and broadcasters. Self-regulatory bodies have been often criticized for lacking power and their perceived inability to take tough decisions against industry players.

Countering the notion that self-regulation is an oxymoron, Singh felt that it was wrong to say that self-regulatory bodies were not working properly. Exchange4Media contacted the leadership at several industry bodies such as the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, News Broadcasters Association and CII National Committee on M&E to enquire about their stand on the proposed government regulator. While our queries went unanswered, there is an impression that a government-controlled regulator may lead to restrictions on the media’s functioning. The move in question has come after the Union I&B Ministry reportedly received a direction from the Supreme Court to set up a statutory mechanism to look into the rising complaints against content aired on private television channels and radio stations. 

Tags Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry

Varun Raina, Marketing Manager, Airbnb India speaks to exchange4media about the successful #LiveThere campaign and how Bollywood helps them connect with its young consumer

Tim Castree is all praises for his team in India and trusts it to be a result of “an excellent execution of agency’s global strategy” headed by Kartik Sharma

Siddharth Dabhade says Criteo’s technology allows brands to engage with shoppers, create relevant experience on retail apps, thereby driving sales and profits

Shantanu Gangane says OTT platform Viu plans around 20+ originals and is all set to enter the Tamil market with a mix of syndicated and original content

right
left
BREAK THE CEILING TOUCH THE SKY 2018 SEES OVERWHELMING INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION 10TH EDITION OF ABC EUREKA AWARDS IN MUMBAI CELEBRATES WORK OF PARTNER AGENCIES EMINENT JURY PICKS LOUDEST’S 100 MOST POWERFUL INDIAN MUSIC BUSINESS LEADERS MODE LOFT BY SABGROUP LAUNCHES SIGNATURE MENSWEAR POWER DRESSING CLOTHING LINE TOP MARKETERS DISCUSS ART AND SCIENCE OF EFFECTIVE LISTENING @PITCH CMO SUMMIT 2018, DELHI THIRD SEASON OF ‘INDIA’S TOP DIGITAL PLANNERS’ RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE IN THE DIGITAL INDUSTRY WOMEN ECONOMIC FORUM 2018 SEES DISTINGUISHED GLOBAL PERSONALITIES IN ATTENDANCE PEPPER CREATIVE AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE THE BEST IN ADVERTISING IN SOUTH INDIA RADIO CITY’S POWER OF RADIO MEET HOSTS TOP ADVERTISING INDUSTRY LEADERS TOP INDUSTRY PERSONALITIES ATTEND ZOOM-MYNTRA EVENING TO CELEBRATE THEIR PARTNERSHIP LEADING MARKETERS, EXPERTS SHARE INSIGHTS ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION @ADOBE SYMPOSIUM IN MUMBAI NICKELODEON TRADE PARTY SEES MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN ATTENDANCE GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE INDUSTRY’S MOST DESERVING ACHIEVERS AIMA MANAGING INDIA AWARDS HONOUR THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY BW BUSINESSWORLD’S GREAT INDIA DEBATE BRINGS TOGETHER INTELLECTUALS ACROSS INDUSTRY SECTORS BW BUSINESSWORLD SMART CITIES CONCLAVE PATNA 2018 SEES EMINENT INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE EMINENT JURY PICKS WINNERS OF GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS MADDYS 2018 SEE TOP ADVERTISING AND MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE LOKMAT MAHARASHTRIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE EXCEPTIONAL TALENT CNBC-TV18’S INDIA BUSINESS LEADER AWARDS HONOUR HIGH-ACHIEVERS, OUTSTANDING LEADERS AND TOP VISIONARIES

Gaurav Dua, Executive Director, Relaxo Footwears talks to exchange4media about the brand's re-branding, marketing strategy, future plans and much more

The brand through its campaign is helping Indian professionals imbibe the new work-culture while making an effortless style statement at their workplace

In this campaign, the brand MRF tyres intends to communicate their proposition of 'comfort made more comfortable'