‘Form self-regulatory bodies’: I&B ministry to digital platforms

The Information and Broadcasting ministry on Friday urged digital media platforms to form a regulatory body on the lines of those formed for the electronic and print media, days after a possible tampering of Target Rating Point (TRP) by certain news channels surfaced.

Television viewership monitoring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Thursday said it will not publish weekly data for news channels for 8-12 weeks as it seeks to review and improve the current standards of measuring and reporting data.

The ministry, in a statement, said that following the decision of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) allowing 26% FDI under government approval route on ‘Uploading/Streaming of Current Affairs and News through Digital Media’, it will be considering in the near future to extend benefits, presently available to traditional media (print and TV), to digital entities also.

These include Press Information Bureau (PIB) accreditation for reporters, cameramen, videographers, enabling them with better first-hand information and access, including participation in official press conferences and such other interactions.

Persons with PIB accreditation can also avail CGHS benefits and concession rail fare as per extant procedure.

Another benefit offered was eligibility for digital advertisements through the Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC).

The ministry also said that similar to self-regulating bodies in print and electronic media, entities in digital media can form self-regulating bodies for furthering their interests and interaction with the government.

Presently, the Press Council of India looks at regulatory issues related to print while the News Broadcasters Standards Authority (NBSA) looks at the regulatory aspects related to the electronic media.

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