Wednesday, June 19, 2013

TRAI's radical proposal for India's newspaper industry

No government has dared to attempt such a move thus far but TRAI is doing it. According to a report in the Hindu, TRAI plans to introduce measures to separate corporate ownership of newspapers from editorial management. This is meant to insulate editorial operations from commercial interests. Rahul Khullar, chief of TRAI, is quoted as saying:

The idea is to create an institutionalised buffer between the corporate owner and newspaper management to ensure the independence of TV channels and the print media to articulate impartial, free and fair editorial policy,” said Mr. Khullar. He, however, admitted that the process was still “in the works”. The “creative challenge” for TRAI was evolving the precise design. 
One needs to be clear what corporate ownership means- does it mean ownership by industrial houses? In other words, would owners of newspapers, who do not have other corporate interests,be exempt from such a measure? One would think so. It should be possible for somebody to own a paper and express himself editorially, as long as he does not have other business interests that might colour news coverage or editorial opinion in his paper.

Khullar also plans to go ahead with restrictions on cross-ownership of media. The rule being contemplated is two out of three: you can own two out of three media,namely, newspaper, radio and TV but not all. Incidentally, I am not clear as to how the newspaper industry would come under the ambit of TRAI. Can anybody shed light on this?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonder why you never write about rupee depreciation ???