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License is for news, not for 'bhoot, pret': Dasmunsi to channels
August 31, 2007 12:55 IST
Stiffening his tone against broadcasters resisting the draft legislation providing for regulation of TV channels, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said they were making misuse of the news channel license by injecting entertainment in their programmes which the government was not going to tolerate.
''The programmes telecast by news channels contain only one fourth news, and the rest is entertainment. You take license for one thing but do a different thing. This is not fair,'' Dasmunsi said in New Delhi.
''You switch on the news channel and you find bhoot pret, fortune-telling, jyotish, what is this? And then you go on repeating for hundred times footage of incidents like Shilpa Shetty [Images] being kissed by some actor. Is that fair,'' said the minister, appealing to the channels to bring in some sense in the job they were doing.
The minister was speaking after the inauguration of four channels of STV devoted to Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa [Images] and Haryana.
Dasmunsi said he failed to understand why there was hue and cry over the proposed Bill providing for a regulator and a content code, as these provisions exist in other democratic countries like UK, France [Images] Germany [Images] and the US.
The government first of all would like the broadcasting industry to regulate themselves and exhibit more social responsibility, but since they were not doing that, the government was constrained to step in.
Referring to the National Games held in Assam, he said it was a very remarkable thing to hold games in a region like that and most of the people were apprehensive about their smooth conclusion.
However, except public broadcaster Doordarshan, no TV channel gave the games any coverage, which shows how they were not using their news license the way they should.
He also attacked the channels for madly conditioning their programmes according to TRP ratings which are based on some selective TV homes in a few urban areas, with large areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar totally left out.
''This kind of liberty cannot be allowed, he said, adding that he was going to take up the issue with broadcasters in a meeting next week.
Earlier, Chairman of STV J K Jain told UNI that the main purpose of launching the state specific channels was to bring up the problems of the common man to the national forefront.
''During trial runs in the states, we found tremendous response from the people, and that prompted us to go ahead with the venture,'' he said.
He said STV would soon launch regional channels in Bihar and Jharkhand.