Tharoor-led panel asks Prasar Bharati, NBA to share views on media ethics

NEW DELHI: Representatives of public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati, the News Broadcasters Association and the Press Council of India have been asked to appear before the parliamentary committee on information and technology headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on October 15 to share their views on ethical standards in media coverage.
The panel will also record oral evidence of representatives of the ministry of information and broadcasting. The matter, among the I&B ministry related issues that the committee has decided to consider this year, assumes significance in backdrop of the “racket” busted by the Mumbai Police earlier this week relating to “fraudulent” manip ulation of Television Rating Points (TRPs) involving three channels — Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.
Apart from ‘Ethical Standards in Media Coverage’, over the course of the year, the House panel will review functioning of the Prasar Bharati organisation and problems and challenges faced by the film industry, functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification and the outreach done by Doordarshan channels.
On Friday, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, a member of the committee, wrote to Tharoor that the “recent issues surrounding” TRPs “have cast doubts on the legitimacy and reliability of the system”.
“There is a need to understand this situation. In light of this, it is important that the standing committee on information technology take up this issue. Therefore, I request you to call before the committee concerned officials of the responsible ministry, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, to seek necessary clarification on the current situation and remedial measures,” Chidambaram said.
Speaking to Times Now earlier in the week, Union I&B minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the “TRP system is managed by BARC” and is a “creation of the broadcasters themselves”. While urging broadcasters to “improve the system” if there are any problems, he said, “I say media should not be TRP-driven.”

News Sunoo

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