Monday, 25 August 2014

Ridding the news media of its demons.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations on media ownership are causing a ruckus within media. A lot of the coverage has been pretty negative. Here are some facts and what the TRAI paper says in that context. Fact The Times of India owns a television, radio, outdoor and Internet business. Sun TV and its affiliates own television, radio, newspapers, cable and DTH. This is true for several other media firms in India in several  other regions. The TRAI recommends using the Herfindahl Hirschman Index, a globally accepted metric, to calculate media concentration and impose cross-media restrictions. Fact more than 60 per cent of the cable systems in India are owned by local politicians. In states such as Punjab or Tamil Nadu, it is routine to block news channels that are neutral or 
show the politicians owning the cable firm in a bad light. About one-third of India’s 135 news channels are owned by politicians and real estate chaps who  are in it for the influence and power, not to become news brands.

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