‘News org must have realistic finance model’

SansadTV Bureau

File Photo(PTI)

It is important that news organisation have “realistic” financial models otherwise “aberrations” like paid news can creep in, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.

The minister said that if there is one sector which has changed the way of life literally, it is the broadcasting sector and it has happened fast as communication has become extremely accessible.

He said the technology in this sector was evolving fast which had brought its own challenges.

“One of the worries is that the financial model for all (news) organisations must be a realistic model. Because if the financial model is not a realistic model, then imperfections will enter. And these imperfections will lead to aberrations. Paid news is one such aberration,” Jaitley said.

In this age of competition, it may seem that quality is being compromised, he said, but added that he had faith that in the long run the best will succeed.

Jaitley, who was speaking at ‘BES Expo’, said that it was predicted about a decade and a half ago that “we were moving towards an era of convergence” but it was still not known what the horizons would be.

He said that during 1999, when the then government was amending the TRAI Act, broadcasting was added in legislation which was originally intended for telephony.

“We did not realise the extent of convergence that would take place,” he said.

He said that a group had been constituted during that period to draft what would be a Convergence Law.

The Information and Broadcasting minister, who apparently was referring to a plan to bring Convergence legislation in the past, said that some wise people had suggested that very soon there will be technology that will make this law redundant.

Jaitley said that not only the behaviour of consumer but even the definition of news has changed, adding “something that camera cannot capture is hardly news these days”