With an aim to bring in transparent self-regulation on content, News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) is all set to create an independent organisation called News Broadcasters Federation Authority (NBFA). In a meeting attended by over 30 top executives representing national and regional channels, more than 50 news channels have come together to create a charter and a governance board for NBF.
News Broadcasters Federation Authority claims that it will create new standards for news broadcasting and address any violation through a committee of editors from within the federation. The self-regulation mechanism will be led by a chairman, and four independent eminent persons, and another four editors.
Moreover, a structured committee on distribution will be formed in order to increase the consumption of news and expand the viewership of member companies both within India and outside. A committee on finance will also be formed to help member companies to strengthen liquidity through technology-driven solutions. NBF will also explore setting up other committees as and when the need arises. It is an organization funded entirely by its members.
Furthermore, NBF also decided that the upcoming Secretariat will be based in Delhi, given the proximity to the government ministries, concerned departments, and industry regulators.
The decision comes at a time when the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is finalising a draft of rules and regulations to hold media accountable, including the proposed framework for online content and news.
News Broadcasters Federation was formed in July this year, bringing together 50 news channels representing broadcasters from all languages and all regions of India. The NBF will be governed by a board of directors, and four issues-specific committees to be constituted among the members. The committee on public policy will address the larger issues with various stakeholders including the Government of India, state governments, judiciary, and civil society organisations.
On November 1, the news industry trade body opened memberships for TV channels and broadcasters from across India. It should be noted that this isn’t the first time the industry has formed a body. The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) already exists and is headed by Rajat Sharma, chairman, Independent News Services Pvt. Ltd (India TV) as president. The NBA claims to have 27 leading news and current affairs broadcasters (comprising 70 news and current affairs channels) as its members.