New Delhi, 08.10.2011 : The Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) strongly criticized the move of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to the effect that renewal of permission would be considered subject to the condition that “the channel should not have been found guilty of violating the terms and conditions of the programme code on five occasions or more”.
The BEA has said that across all democratic nations, governments have no role in issues pertaining to content. The Indian constitution clearly restricts the Government from assuming any such role, the BEA said. With new norms, government is trying to control an otherwise independent electronic media by sending a subtle message that their permission to uplink can be withdrawn should they not ‘behave’.
“Can content be left to the wisdom of the bureaucrats in a democracy,” the BEA asked.
The net result of the new norms would be that an officer of the Government can question an individual channel on content for four times on one pretext or the other, and finally, threaten that channel of non-renewal, should it not fall in line The BEA said, this move is an attempt to undermine the landmark steps that electronic media has taken towards self-regulation. The BEA demands that proposed norms be immediately withdrawn otherwise media will be forced to take up this issue on other forums.
Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA)