New Delhi, Sep 30: The first-ever initiative by private broadcasters of the country to introduce self-regulation in the industry, the News Broadcasting Standards (Disputes Redressal) Authority will fuction from Thursday, Oct 2. The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) had mooted the idea after it rejected the Government move to put in place a Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India and a code for regulation of TV content.
Whereas the Government had argued that it was under strong social pressure to put a check on the content dished out by TV channels and regulate its other areas of functioning in national and social interest, the TV news broadcasters had expressed strong apprehension that such a move would result in erosion of the freedom of the media.
Finally, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had veered round to the view that it considered self-regulation as the best provided the broadcasters were serious about it and put in place a regulatory mechanism soon.
After the announcement of the creation of The News Broadcasting Standards (Disputes Redressal) by the NBA, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had said that it was ready to give it a chance.
While announcing its initiative the NBA had said that it believed that media that was meant to expose the lapses in government and in public life could not obviously be regulated by government, else it would lack credibility. Peer review was the best option, it felt.
''A channel acting in breach of established guidelines could hardly defend its motives or suggest that it was acting fairly, if it is censured by a jury comprising its peers. Interference by government, however well intentioned, would however imperil not just independent journalism, but the very process of investigation itself,'' it had said.
Acting on these beliefs, the NBA created a Nine Member Authority to be chaired by Justice J S Verma, formerly Chief Justice of India and former Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission.
The other Members on the Authority are: Mr Ramachandra Guha, Historian&Author, Mr Kiran Karnik, Former President NASSCOM, Prof Dipankar Gupta, Eminent Sociologist (JNU), Mr Nitin Desai, Economist&former Under Secretary General, United Nations. All of them are Members under 'Eminent Persons' category.
Members under 'Editors' category are: Mr Vinod Kapri, Managing Editor, India TV, Mr B V Rao, Group Editor, Zee News, Mr Milind Khandekar, Managing Editor, Star News and Mr Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now.
The NBA has also drawn up a Code of Ethics to be enforced by the Authority.