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.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here