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Report No. 255

Standing Committee on Information Technology (2012-13)

7.33.2. The Parliamentary Standing Committee acknowledged that the issue of paid news is a product of foul play between the electoral candidates and the media houses.283 The Committee has, inter alia, found the existing regulatory set-up dealing with paid news inadequate. Describing the voluntary self-regulatory bodies like the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) and Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) as an 'eye wash', the Committee also found the punitive powers of statutory regulators like the PCI and Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) to be inadequate.

Expressing concern that the lack of restriction on ownership across media segments (print, radio, TV or internet) or between content and distribution could give rise to monopolistic practices, the Committee has urged the Authority to present its recommendations and the Ministry to take conclusive action on those recommendations on a priority basis.

283. Standing Committee Report, supra note 235

7.33.3. The Standing Committee also noted that unlike in print media, in case of electronic media, there is no regulatory body. It suggested coordination with News Broadcaster Association to develop a mechanism to keep a check on Paid News in electronic media. The committee also affirmed some of the suggestions already made by the PCI Report.

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