New Delhi: Government is mulling on the issue of bringing more FDI into news channels, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said yesterday while voicing concern over “quality of news” and little investment in training of journalists.
Speaking at the 4th Big Picture Summit for 2015 organised by the CII, he said the government is talking about the concept of “bringing in more” Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into news channels.
“Can’t really say that we are going to make it happen in a given timeframe, but the very fact that we have started thinking about it, means we have started moving ahead with it,” he told representatives of the media and entertainment industry.
As per present rules, 26 per cent FDI is allowed in uplinking of news and current affairs TV channels, officials said.
Rathore referred to comments made by one of the industry representatives about paucity of funds available with news channels and said that it was one of the reasons that there was not much investment into training of journalists.
“Unfortunately, because of that there is not much investment happening in training of the journalist. The quality of the journalist, the questions, the news that is being presented and we as a growing nation, we need to have journalists as fourth pillar of democracy.
“We need to have very good quality news being given out. And therefore there is need to investment into the quality of journalism itself,” Rathore said.
Referring to demands that news be allowed on private FM Radio, Rathore said that with changing times policies are changing too.
There was a time when there was no news on private radio but now with Phase III expansion, this has changed, he said.
He added that in Phase III, All India Radio news can be broadcast verbatim. “But what we have done is, taken off a lot of things from news and therefore it has become non-news. Things like sports in a city, local events in a city. Just that religion and political news is hardcore news and we leave that out for the time being,” he said.