Regulating online news content

IN Media Watch Briefs | 18/03/2018

Online media has not been subjected to licensing and regulation so far but I & B minister Smriti Irani suggested at CNN News 18's Rising India Summit on March 16-17 that this may be changing. When it comes to content on TV, radio or newspapers there is a code of conduct they adhere to, everybody is licensed to function under the law, she said. But online is a system where legislation in terms of news broadcast content is not clear. "That is something that the ministry is currently undertaking, and is in conversation with stake holders", she said.              

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Journalists covering the ongoing protest of residents of the coastal town of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu were at the receiving end of police violence and found their cameras and cellphones snatched. The residents were demanding immediate closure of Vedanta Sterlite's copper operations and the agitation turned bloody, leaving one person dead in police firing.          

According to this report  34 people who were employed by  ABP Ltd through contractors for different departments, and were fired,  have been protesting outside the ABP premises for almost a month now but there has been no media coverage. Their troubles began when they formed a union in response to not being paid minimum wages by their contractors in 2016. Their union is affiliated to the TMC. They were fired after forming a union.The ABP management has not met them yet. Media outlets approached by the workers have declined to cover their plight. The Labour Minister has lent them a ear, but that has not resulted in any action.                     

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