Govt. planning to revamp DD, AIR: Javadekar

Prakash Javadekar, I&B Minister, addressing the The Hindu Leadership Summit at Goafest.

Prakash Javadekar, I&B Minister, addressing the The Hindu Leadership Summit at Goafest.

The state-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) and public radio broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) are in line for a mighty bounce back if the Centre has its way. Speaking at The Hindu Leadership Summit, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar told a packed house at Goafest 2014 that the Central government will “re-energise both” the government media channels and bring back lost glory.

In his first public address, Mr. Javadekar said he had already discussed the same with Prasar Bharati officials. “We want to make DD competitive in the current scenario add fantastic content.” In a statement addressed to cable operators across the country, the Minister said he would refuse to listen to their grievance until Doordarshan was aired in the primary band.

Censorship Mr. Javadekar did not say if the IT Act would be reworked in light of threat of arrests over social media posts. Assuring complete freedom to the media, he said: “The right to criticise and voice your dissent is your right. But with every freedom comes responsibility.”

Saying that laws cannot be enforced unless the intent comes from within, Mr. Javadekar heaped lavish praise on The Advertising Standards Council of India that has imposed self-censorship in the advertising business. “If there are bodies like ASC in industry, there is no need for the government to intervene.”

Ownership Replying to questions from the audience whether industrialists being allowed to own media companies would pose a danger to the functioning of the media business, he said: “Cross media ownership is being actively debated now. If that boils down to a game of 3-4 owners what happens to the state of media are some questions being raised. We will work extra time and walk the extra mile but come to decisions one these.”

Taking a swipe at television audience measurement major TAM Media, the Minister said the company had shown great marketing skills in selling its product in such a way that every broadcaster was capable of claiming they were on top in terms of viewership. Competitive market forces like the broadcasters-funded BARC, which is currently preparing to launch its own measurement systems, can help in increasing the efficiency of measurement.

“I believe in open market systems as it ensures fair play,” Mr. Javadekar said. The leadership summit also included an address by Vanitha Narayanan, MD, IBM India, Ajay Chaturvedi, Founder and chairman, HarVa and Pujya Swami Paramatmananda Saraswati, founder of the Arsha Vidya Mandir.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 5:17:33 pm |