National Broadcast Policy On The Cards

A National Broadcast Policy is being drafted in collaboration with stakeholders to address the issues plaguing the sector, said Amit Khare, secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, at the inaugural session of Frames 2019, the annual media and entertainment conference of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

The three-day event began on Tuesday. Regulation and collaboration were buzzwords at the conference.

Khare said the need of the hour was less government regulation and more self-regulation.

“There is no reason to believe that a wise person sitting in Delhi would be more knowledgeable or more prudent compared to the industry people who are dealing with the subject on a day-to-day basis, the MIB secretary added.

He also said: “Historically, our policies and regulations have not developed content-wise and developed platform-wise. There are separate regulations for the print, a different set of regulations for the broadcast, and a third set for films. For newspapers it is the Press Council, and if it is online, the PCI cannot intervene on that.”

Former UTV boss and media veteran Ronnie Screwvala said the evolution of the media and entertainment industry was evident in the fact that business people were at the centre stage of the convention.

“The companies of tomorrow need to be more consumer companies and not just media companies. The media and entertainment sector cannot just function with passion, we also need leaders, founders, and entrepreneurship,” said Screwvala, emphasising that media and entertainment industry needs to focus on consumers.

The conclave also saw members of the news media discuss the perils of fake news in today’s digital world.

“People latch on to developing events and use that for some kind of objective, mostly political but social and communal as well. This is a game that is playing out very vividly,” said Govindrag Ethiraj, founder, BOOM Factcheck and IndiaSpend.

Todd Yellin, vice-president, product, Netflix, explained the over-the-top (OTT) service strategy for taking Indian content global. He said the service will be doubling its production efforts in the country.

“Expect that (India production) to double next year, and then double again,” he said.

He also explained that Indian original series Sacred Games, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Saif Ali Khan and Radhika Apte, was a global hit for the service, with two out of three viewers of the show living outside India.

He added that the number of languages in which Netflix content will be available in is increasing from 25 to 30.―Business Standard

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