State-owned Doordarshan (DD) and public radio broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) are in line for a mighty bounce back if the Modi government has its way.
Speaking at The Hindu Leadership Summit as part of Goafest 2014, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, said the new government would “re-energise both” government media channels and bring back the lost glory.
Javadekar said that he has already discussed the issue with Prasar Bharati officials. “We want to make DD competitive in the current scenario and add fantastic content.” In a not so veiled, but mild threat to cable operators across the country, Javadekar said he would refuse to listen to their grievance until Doordarshan was being aired by them in the primary band.
On the issue of allowing news broadcast on private FM channels, Javadekar gave a cryptic response saying, “My heart is for news,” but did not elaborate further.
Speaking about the worry over the censorship of media, particularly the imminent threat of arrests over social media posts, Javadekar said the social media comes under the IT Act, which is a ten-year-old legislation. “Much has changed since then,” he said without going any further to say if the Act would be re-worked.
Replying to questions about industrialists being allowed to own media companies which may pose a danger to the functioning of the media business, he said “cross-media ownership was being actively debated now. If that boils down to a game of 3-4 owners, what happens to the state of media are some questions being raised,” he said.
He added that cross-ownership of media and the television ratings system were the key issues that were being debated actively.