The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is the apex regulatory body in India that oversees the administration of broadcasting services. They have introduced a new bill, a proposed law, aimed at modernising and consolidating the regulatory framework for broadcasting services. The primary objective is to replace the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, of 1995, and include OTT (over-the-top) platforms, digital news, and current affairs within its scope.

News and broadcasting services have a significant impact on the country’s citizens, either positively or negatively. India already has relevant laws in place, but with the changing perspectives of the country, there is an urgency to modify existing laws. The new broadcast bill proposed by MIB offers multiple benefits, such as combating fake news, enhancing accountability, promoting ethical journalism practices, etc. In this article, we will discuss this new bill in detail.

Unveiling the New Broadcast Bill: Transforming the Landscape of Online News in India under MIB

Key Provisions: Navigating the New Broadcasting Bill by MIB

The Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, is a complex piece of legislation that is still under consideration by the Indian Parliament. This means that at the time of final enactment, it might change to the announced provisions. However, the current provisions, as mentioned by MIB, focus on a few key areas. These provisions are explained below.

Consolidated Regulatory Framework

The previous broadcasting law stated that different services, such as DTH, IPTV, and other online platforms, were regulated by their specific regulatory bodies. Recognising this, the new bill aims to consolidate all the regulations for these different broadcasting services to establish a more comprehensive approach to regulation.

Extension to OTT platforms

The existing law does not regulate broadcasting over OTT platforms; instead, it is governed by the IT Act, of 2000. The new bill proposes to bring it under the purview of MIB so that everything can be controlled by passing a single ordinance instead of relying on different acts.

Regulation of News and Current Affairs Content

Modernization has reached such a peak that people are running their news channels on YouTube and serving the same purpose through WhatsApp or other mediums. Such news channels can spread disinformation. To curb this, the new bill includes such content mediums so that they can be regulated.

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

Previously, it was at the discretion of broadcasters to serve people with disabilities. The new bill mandates making their content accessible to such individuals. Accessibility can be in the form of audio descriptions, sign language interpretations, etc.

Furthermore, the new broadcasting bill focuses on some more provisions. These include the establishment of a broadcasting regulatory authority, a self-regulatory mechanism, a content evaluation committee, differentiated programme codes and advertisement codes, the application of certain penalties, etc.

Unpacking Impact: How the New Broadcasting Bill Reshapes Online News Platforms

After understanding the key provisions of the new broadcasting bill for 2023, you should know that online news platforms have been hugely impacted. Although the bill is yet to be finalised, it has already made a massive impact on those who run online news platforms. These impacts include greater regulatory oversight (now online news content will be published subject to ethical regulations), content regulation (such platforms need to fulfil certain measures to run their broadcasting), increased transparency (online news platforms now disclose their funding, ownership, etc.), and an impact on revenue (it’s difficult for newcomers to monetize their content).

class="wp-block-heading">Governance in Focus: MIB’s Oversight in the Era of the New Broadcasting Bill 2023

Discussing how the government can handle the new broadcast bill in 2023, they have set up an authority named the Broadcasting Regulatory Authority (BRA) which remains the main body responsible for overseeing the implementation of the bill. The BRA would be responsible for issuing licences to broadcasters, monitoring compliance, and taking corrective action against violators. Apart from that, the government will take care of setting standards for content regulation. They will also ensure that online news platforms are transparent and accountable. In addition to this, appointing BRA members and providing funds are usual functions.

Global Perspectives: Analysing the New Broadcasting Bill 2023 in a Global Context

Even though MIB introduced the broadcasting amendment somewhat late compared to other countries, we found that in many areas, the new broadcasting bill is in line with global broadcasting standards. I am impressed by how well this new bill serves the Global Standards. Like global broadcasting standards, it follows traditional broadcasting regulations, including OTT platforms. Similarly, several provisions seem the same as global ones, such as establishing a programme and advertisement code, a self-regulatory mechanism, introducing statutory penalties, etc. Meanwhile, we can now say that, in terms of broadcasting regulation, we are in line with global trends.

Concluding Reflections

Overall, the New Broadcasting Bill introduced by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) marks a significant stride in regulating online news in India. We’ve explored key provisions, implications for news platforms, and the government’s pivotal role. As we move forward, a delicate balance between regulatory measures and press freedom is crucial. The global comparative analysis has provided insights, and with a comprehensive understanding of the bill’s nuances, the future outlook hinges on adapting to evolving media landscapes while upholding journalistic integrity and the public interest.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. What are the new laws for 2023 in India?

Ans. This year, numerous new bills have been added, of which the new broadcasting bill 2023 is a major one.

Q2. What is the most important thing in 2023?

Ans. This varies for everyone, but we found the coronation of King Charles III.

Q3. What are the biggest trends for 2023?

Ans. There are different options in the queue, such as recessionette, trust doom loop, rise of the intrapreneur, and so on.

Q4. What is the purpose of the Broadcasting Bill of 2006?

Ans. Its purpose is to seek a licence for broadcasting any television or radio programme.