Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari, who was chief guest at the inaugural IAA Leadership Awards 2013, assured the media and advertising fraternity in his address that the industry views will be taken into full consideration while framing policies relating to the sector.
Tewari listed out certain paradoxes associated with the media and entertainment sector in his address, including self-regulation, skewed revenue model, and imperfect audience measurement models.
The Minister highlighted the need to create a statutory mechanism to address issues related to convergence across media, entertainment and telecom. He said, “Convergence across media, entertainment and telecom space, especially with digitisation kicking in, is inevitable. Therefore, at some point in time there will have to be an over-arching statutory architecture to look into the issues.”
He however added that self-regulation of the content remained the preferred option, but it had to be broad based and balanced. Tewari said, “Freedom of speech should not extend to the right to offend and individual’s right to privacy must be respected.”
About the digitisation programme of the government, he said the I&B Ministry is on course in implementing the second phase of digitisation in 38 cities with million-plus population. He said digitisation, besides benefitting consumers in terms of better viewing quality, would also address the skewed revenue model of the media and entertainment industry by bringing in clarity about the customer base. He expressed hope that this would prompt the industry to observe limits on advertising time.
Tewari also touched upon the imperfect model of audience measurement, and called for development of a ‘far more qualitative model’ to address the issue of television viewership.