Thursday, May 8, 2014

'MediaWatch-India' - Newsletter (January-April, 2014)



Campaigning for decency and accountability in Media


Newsletter, Jan-Apr, 2014 (dt. 6-5-2014)


Two Telugu news channels penalised for woman-degrading content 

Based on MWI complaint in 2012 against the late night song-based programmes - 'Cine Colours'  in NTV & 'Idi mallela velayani'  in ABN Andhra Jyothi, the Ministry of I&B at last took action by prohibiting ABN AJ channel for seven days and directing N TV to scroll apology for three days. See decisions at Sl. No's 234 & 237 HERE

Complaint against unregistered channels of DTH operators 

The licence under DTH guidelines is granted to operators only for carriage/distribution of channels of registered broadcasters. However, all DTH service providers (Airtel, Tata Sky, Dish TV etc.) are carrying their own channels with commercial ads & self-promotional messages on 24*7 basis which is gross violation of extant legal provisions. This means that DTH operators are exploiting 'air waves', a public property for their commercial benefit even without registration and by flouting statutory norms. MWI issued notice to Ministry of I&B to take action against the DTH operators. READ MORE


Ownership details of broadcast companies shall be in public domain

While successive governments failed to constitute an independent regulator for broadcast media, the Ministry of I&B is hiding even the basic details about the broadcasting companies which are using 'air waves', a public property primarily for their commercial benefit. MWI started fight under RTI Act for publishing all details about broadcasting companies e.g., ownership, shareholders, contact details of channels in case of complaints by public etc. on the website of Ministry of I&B. Read More  

Modify the format of censor certificate 
Even to this day, the censor 'certificate' which is indeed meant for producer's record is shown for few seconds at the beginning of the film in a way no ordinary human being can see or read its contents. The very rules which are meant for informing the audience about the nature/classification ('A', 'UA' etc.) of the films certified by Censor Board are in fact preventing them from knowing about that vital information. Till new rules are framed, MWI represented to Ministry of I&B to modify the 'print' format of censor certificate to improve its visual impact for the benefit of audience.

Read More

Against adult films on television 


The Censor Board, which never had the time to take a single step for educating, informing and empowering the film audience, has volunteered with its emphatic recommendations to the government to allow for telecast of adult films on television. MWI opposed the move, highlighting the essential pre-conditions to be ensured before allowing adult content on television.

Read More

Impose statutory penalties on erring TV channels


In case of private satellite TV channels, for violation of Programme & Advertising Codes, the prescribed penalty in the first instance is "suspension of the permission of the company and/or registration of the channel and prohibition of broadcast up to a period of 30 days." However, the 'media-friendly' Ministry of I&B is merely issuing advisories / warnings / orders for scrolling apology which have no legal basis at all. Thus, the government is making a mockery of rule of law and showing its blatant favoritism towards influential broadcasters. MWI served notice to Ministry to impose penalties strictly as per statutory guidelines. Read More

Blatant violation of 'Advertisement Code' by DTH operators


TV audience are already bearing the onslaught of distracting 'part-screen' ads and self-promotional messages inserted by broadcasters during the programmes. Now, the DTH operators started exploiting the screen space with commercial ads and messages which is not only a nuisance for viewers but a blatant violation of 'Advertisement Code'. MWI moved Ministry of I&B for action on DTH operators. Read More

Censor cuts not adhered in 'Dedh Isquiya'


Censor Board ordered some 'cuts' in the film 'Dedh Ishqiya'. But, the producers released the film without effecting those cuts. This is but deemed 'alteration/tampering' of the film and a serious offence attracting cognisable and non-bailable proceedings against the producer and others. While it is a matter of police case to be decided in the court of law, the Censor Board which came across the violation hush hushed the issue. MWI took up the matter with Ministry of I&B.

Read More

Analysis of Mudgal report on new Cinema law


Present Cinematograph Act is 62 years old and hopelessly outdated. The Mukul Mudgal committee constituted by the government to revisit the Cinema law came up with shockingly regressive recommendations. Here is an article by MWI published in the media watch website, 'The Hoot' analyzing Mudgal committee recommendations.
PIL to set up independent regulator for broadcast media


Supreme Court, in 1995 held 'air waves' as 'PUBLIC PROPERTY' and directed the central government to constitute an independent regulator for broadcast media. But, the 'media-appeasing' governments never made a serious effort to bring in necessary legislation till date. Of late, the government is chanting 'self-regulation' by media which is a proved farce. MWI filed a PIL in Supreme Court on the matter and notices were issued to Ministry of I&B, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Association of Radio Operators India (AROI) & Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Senior Advocate, Smt. Kamini Jaiswal isrepresenting MWI in the case.


           MWI prayed for directions to Ministry of I&B (i) to immediatelyrevive the efforts towards constituting an independent regulator for Broadcast Media & (ii)to put in place, a credible and systematic grievance redressal mechanism for TV & radio audience tillsuitable legislation is enacted. Read More

Secretary, 'MediaWatch-India', 

# 11-7-17, Navodaya Nagar,

Narasaraopet - 522601.

Guntur Dist., Andhra Pradesh, India.



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I am totally agree with you.