[cr-india] the spectre in the manifesto

sajan venniyoor venniyoor at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 00:57:03 CDT 2014


A spectre is haunting community radio -- the spectre of the 2002 CR policy.

But more of that later. I did a quick search of half a dozen party
political manifestos (2014 lok sabha elections) and found radio -- and the
media in general -- conspicuous by its absence in most of them.

The Aam Aadmi Party is the only one with a reasonably coherent media
policy, which includes community broadcasting.

Under 'Media Policy', the AAP manifesto says (among other
things<http://ibnlive.in.com/news/full-text-aam-aadmi-partys-manifesto-for-ls-polls/462365-37-64.html>--*
see
below), *"state monopoly of news broadcasting on radio to end".

"v. Freeing of airwaves for community use and strengthen the 2002 Community
Radio policy. Incentivize licensing of community radios in underdeveloped
and remote areas of the country. Lift prohibition on broadcasting of news
and current affairs programs on Community Radio and private radio stations."

All good, and thank you very much, but what's with the 2002 CR policy?

If I were paranoid, I'd assume a sinister conspiracy by campus radio
stations to ensure that only the 2002 CR policy is implemented.

And it's not just the AAP manifesto: take a look at the last known
draft Broadcasting
Services Regulation Bill,
2007<http://mib.nic.in/WriteReadData/documents/GBill200707.pdf>.
Of the ten broadcast policies "deemed to have been issued under this Act",
sure enough, there's the Community Radio Policy of 2002. But not the 2006
CR Guidelines.

Did the 2006 CR Guidelines really happen, or did we just imagine it?

Sajan


*AAP Manifesto for Lok Sabha Elections 2014*

30. Media Policy

The growth of media industry has been impressive but its excessive focus on
maximization of profits and a lack of credible regulation has led to
serious imbalances like 'paid news' and the creation of big media
oligopolies. While AAP appreciates the need for a vibrant and independent
media, we are concerned about the increasing allegations of'paid news'. The
main reasons for this include the media's lack of public accountability and
overwhelming dependence on advertising. The media industry is not subject
to any statutory regulations of disclosure despite its profound influence
over daily lives. Towards this, AAP will

i. Explore methods of enforcing public accountability and regulation on the
media industry which are not coercive and which do not threaten the
Constitutional guarantees provided under Article 19 on freedom of
expression. This regulation needs to go hand-in-hand with freedom from
interference from the state and political authority.

ii. Curb on 'paid news', which is a violation of basic principle of media
ethics, fairness and professionalism. In legal terms it amounts to an open
violation of media, electoral and taxation laws. Any regulation therefore
must include severe punishment for paid news and motivated or deliberately
inflammatory reporting.

iii. Cross media ownership regulations to ensure a competitive environment
by prohibiting big media monopolies; state monopoly of news broadcasting on
radio to end. Transparency and disclosure of ownership of media houses,
their loans, as well as the political affiliations of owners andj oumalists.

iv. Explore options to encourage public service media institutions and
convert the state-owned media (or state-supported autonomous institutions
like Doordarshan, All Tndia Radio, Lok Sabha Television and Rajya Sabha
Television) into true public service institutions with decentralized,
professional and autonomous management structures.

v. Freeing of airwaves for community use and strengthen the 2002 Community
Radio policy. Tncentivize licensing of community radios in underdeveloped
and remote areas of the country. Lifi prohibition on broadcasting of news
and current affairs programs on Community Radio and private radio stations.
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