News Channels To Form Organisation To Self-Regulate Content

A decision to form an organisation to bring in more transparent self regulation of content of the broadcast news industry was taken at a meeting of the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) recently.

The meeting, held in Mumbai, was attended by over 30 top executives of India’s national and regional news channels, and resulted in the conception of an ‘alternative standards’ body, called the News Broadcasters Federation Authority. More than 50 news channels have come together to create a charter and a governance board for Authority.

The news industry trade body decided to open-up memberships for TV channels and broadcasters from across India, starting November 1st this year.

The News Broadcasters Federation Authority is aimed at creating new standards for news broadcasting and address any violation through a committee of editors from within the federation. The self-regulation mechanism will be led by a Chairman, and four independent eminent persons, and four editors.

This is the first time in the history of Indian broadcasting that a group of regional and national broadcasters have come together to form a body that represents their combined interests and perspective on matters related to the news broadcasting industry.

The NBF, in the same meeting, also decided that its upcoming Secretariat will be based out of the Delhi, given the proximity to the Government Ministries, concerned Departments and Industry Regulators.

“The meeting and finalisation of the agenda to move forward with NBF is critical and comes at a time when the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is finalising a draft of rules and regulations to hold media accountable, including the proposed framework for online content and news. Significantly, the first formal meeting of the NBF also saw support pouring in from some distribution platform operators or DPOs, who also own television news channels,” an NBF statement said.―The Hindu

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