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India broadcasting mogul Subhash Chandra has called for tough new entry checks for would-be broadcasters. He says the Indian TV industry needs far greater transparency in how it grants licences and similar transparency on the broadcaster.
“The need of the hour is to have a media council with robust media ethics and code of conduct, similar to the due diligence provided in the banking sector by the Reserve Bank of India,” he said. “I have written to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and am yet to get a reply. Other publishers are joining in and we hope to get united in this exercise. It is critical that the industry players come together to raise a joint voice on these crucial issues,” he said.
He specifically alleged that certain channels are secretly funded by business interests, and are using the channels “as a shield for illegal activities”.
Chandra is perhaps right to be worried given that India has a total of 368 registered and licensed news channels. He called upon all channels to have their sources of funding examined and to have strict entry checks.