Trai working on new proposals on media ownership

Concentration of media ownership threat to democracy: Vaghela

TRAI is working on a set of recommendations on media ownership in India, says chairman P D Vaghela

India’s telecom regulator is working on a set of recommendations on media ownership in the country, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman P D Vaghela has said. Vaghela said there were concerns over the concentration of media ownership, which, he felt, posed a threat to democracy, news reports quoting news agency PTI said.

Vaghela was speaking at the CII Big Picture Summit in New Delhi on 16 November 2022. “It is antithetical to the phenomenon of concentration of media ownership. The concentration of media ownership has been identified with a number of problems. Undoubtedly, the most significant of these is the threat it poses to freedom of expression and democracy. Looking at the importance of the issue, we are in the process of framing the recommendations on the issues relating to media ownership,” a PTI report in NDTV quoted Vaghela as saying.

It may be recalled that in April this year, the regulator released a consultation paper to discuss ownership issues within the media

A Business Standard report said the fresh set of recommendations would be the second time in eight years – the last proposals in 2014 were not accepted by the government. Curbs on political parties from entering the broadcasting space and restrictions on corporate houses investing in the sector were among TRAI’s suggestions.

Vaghela’s remarks come amid the Adani Group’s takeover of NDTV, a leading name in India’s media sector.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here