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Trai urged to rethink on media regulation

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

Media houses have expressed their disappointment over the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)'s proposals, which include cross-media ownership and television broadcasting rules.

like Bennett, Coleman and Company, IndusInd media and other online publishers said it was inappropriate for Trai at this juncture to frame these regulations targeted against media operations. Instead, they suggested Trai to ensure orderly growth in the sector by working collectively with established institutions like Competition Commission of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India and Monopolies Restrictive Trade Practices Act.

The discussion was a part of open house deliberations organised by the telecom regulator here on Monday on issues relating to media regulation and its control. It was chaired by Rajiv Agarwal, secretary, TRAI; Parameshwaran, senior advisor, TRAI, and other senior officials. The discussion was aimed at seeking public opinion in the lead up to the framing of media regulations.

Sulok Bagchee, head - operations, Star Network, Hyderabad said: "he task of applying regulations in content produced for both print and electronic media would amount to infringement of Article, 19 (1)(a) besides diminishing the business opportunities in the sector."

Highlighting the inclusive role being played by regional channels in the country, the participants said, plurality in news reportage could be achieved only in a free market environment sans regulations. Therefore, any policy formulation should address the hiccups faced by them.

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First Published: Mon, May 13 2013. 20:44 IST