The government is in the final stages of setting up an Empowered Nodal Group which could act as a single point authority for disbursement of news in the event of major crisis like Mumbai terror attack.
This group is being set up in response to a suggestion by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) considering the experience of 26/11 when the entire nation was angry on the way the attacks were telecast by news channels, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told the Lok Sabha.
“I would like to inform the House that formation of the nodal group is in the final stage,” Ms. Soni said.
The Minister also said that since last couple of months news broadcasters have shown restraint without any notice or advisory. “The government is not in favour of censoring news... But, nevertheless, we have been able to talk to editors about the contents,” she said.
Replying to a supplementary, the minister said the Advertising Code under the Cable Regulatory Act has been violated by several channels and in the last six months the I&B ministry has issued 30 notices to them.
On the issue of hike in foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in news and current affairs TV channels to 49 per cent from the present 26 per cent as recommended by telecom regulator TRAI, she said, “We are sensitive about it... we do not want too much of foreign investment in print, electronic media or radio.”