By Syed Ali Mujtaba
With satellite news channels in the country attracting growing criticism over their content and slant of reporting as well as presentation, some Journalists’ Forum have raised the demand for replacing the existing Press Council of India to Media Council of India to bring in electronic media and rapidly upcoming digital media platforms under its ambit.
In a press release, Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) said that India should not waste further time in recognizing the news channels and news related portals under the domain of Working Journalist Act (of India) and upgrade the Press Council of India to Media Council of India.
The journalist forum pointed out that the exclusiveness of news channels because of their availability in television sets in millions of households across the country will not sustain for long. The new technological advancement is making it possible to offer the same space for selected and exclusive news based portals with full audio-visual content.
Both Reliance Jio and Airtel have revised their broadband plans, offering unlimited data (around 3.3 TB per month) to their customers. Jio Fibre and Airtel Xstream Fibre are seemingly offering 100 GB data per day, which should be plenty for an Indian household for data consumption.
Both the service providers are expected to offer hundreds of Indian news channels with sports, entertainment, educational and other related contents.
Even a number of news portals will be included in Jio and Airtel broadband plans helping them to showcase their content in television sets as well without depending upon DTHs and cable operators.
So in such a situation it is high time to have a comprehensive Media Council of India armed with greater regulatory powers so that necessary guidelines can be formulated. The press release for Journalists’ Forum Assam was issued by President Rupam Barua and Secretary Nava Thakuria.