Last week Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), decided to have a self-regulatory mechanism for content control of non-news channels. For news channels, there is already a self regulatory mechanism named (News Broadcasters Association or NBA), whose effectiveness is yet to be seen. The new regulation also includes having a complaints redressal mechanism through the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) which will consist of 13 members, including justice AP Shah, former chief justice of Delhi High Court, as the chairperson of the body [Source].
TV Channels look quite happy with the decision and they have quoted the move as transformational.
Off course its transformational as it gives a free hand to broadcasters to show content of will and allows them to manipulate the system and society.
While reading this I couldn’t help myself comparing this regulation to the new rules which have been included under country’s Information Technology Act 2008 that aims to regulate content on web [Related: New Cyber Cafe rules & guidelines]. To sum up the rules, it basically say-
that anything libellous, grossly harmful, hateful, racist or ethnically objectionable or disparaging will be covered by the rules. These rules will mostly affect bloggers, tweeters and free-thinking Net freaks. [Hindustan Times]
If you are interested in reading the rules in more details you can check this update from Medianama.
Here are my thoughts on this-
- When we actually compare TV content to Web content, it’s the TV content which is more disturbing to sentiments rather than something written on web.
- TV content on the contrary can be controlled by a Gov. body because its scope is limited as against the web which is limitless.
- Bloggers, Tweeters and free thinkers are at least 100 times more careful about using the words which may hurt anyone’s sentiments or for that matter using the abusing words. While Roadies’ judges freely exploit the (so called) “freedom of speech” to show their uglier side.
- Bloggers are independent news writers/journalists and Twitter has officially declared itself as a NEWS source. And communities at Blogs/Twitter are smart enough to identify a fake news from a genuine one, but its not the case with INDIA TV.
There are multiple other cases which will justify my view point but I don’t want myself to get caught under new Government regulations .
I would like to hear your thoughts on this – if you’re a Blogger / Twitterati please comment on how such regulations will effect your “freedom of speech” and if you’re from a broadcasting company please tell if this move is justified.
Looking forward to your comments!