‘Regulations have to keep pace with changing technologies’: I&B Minister Manish Tewari

Calls for robust self-regulation to keep out judicial intervention; faults revenue models of Indian media organisations

May 27, 2013 02:36:00 PM | Article | Campaign India Team

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari called for a robust self regulation regime in the country to keep pace with changing media environment. "Content regulation in the media space is not going to come out of political executive, but will come out of the judicial process. Make self regulation more inclusive and robust to keep out judicial intervention," he said, speaking at the Red Ink Awards (for journalism) organised by the Press Club, Mumbai, on 25 May. 

Tewari added, “With exponential growth in the media space, a paradigm shift has taken place, wherein regulations have to keep pace with changing technologies and have to be universal."

Referring to growth of social media, he noted that micro-bloggers, twitter and facebook were effectively ‘broadcasters’, explaining the complexity surrounding regulation and freedom of speech.

Tewari also observed that the revenue models of Indian media organisations have not been well-constructed, which in turn have led to the issues of paid news, private treaties, tyranny of TRPs and sensationalism, informed an official statement.

Panel discussion

The Minister was part of a panel discussion alongside N Ram, former editor-in-chief of The Hindu Group of publications and Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, moderated by Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief, Times Now.

Ram noted that reasonable restrictions were often becoming unreasonable restrictions and jurisdiction of criminal contempt was posing a serious challenge to fearless journalism. He said the phenomenon of paid news and private treaties have resulted in hyper-commercialisation of news. Moderator Goswami noted that the media had the right to defend its turf from frequent judicial interventions.