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Now, doubts being raised over efficacy of newly-formed News Broadcasters Federation

The industry was abuzz last week with the formation of largest-ever federation of news channels, christened News Broadcasters Federation (NBF). As the industry takes stock post the formation, several news media veterans are now questioning how effective the Federation will really be. 

There are several significant points that the news media experts have raised in conversation with Adgully. First and foremost, they have pointed out that barring Republic TV and Republic Bharat, there are no national news broadcasters who form part of NBF. Almost all the members are regional players. 

Moreover, a senior news broadcaster, on condition of anonymity, informed Adgully, “The NBF has at least 10 news channels which are illegal as in they do not have a licence, but have entered into structures with other companies to lease channel licences, which is illegal.” 

Another senior news broadcaster wondered what additional purpose the NBF would fulfil. 

On the other hand, one news broadcaster preferred to wait and watch how the NBF functioned before writing it off completely as this industry body was too young. 

Also read: More than 50 founder channels join to form News Broadcasters Federation

As reported earlier, among the founder members of the NBF are:

Republic Media Network (Republic TV and Republic Bharat)

Puthiyathalaimurai and V6 News (Tamil Nadu)

Orissa TV (Orissa)

IBC24 (MP and Chhattisgarh)

Asianet News Network (Asianet News) and Suvarna News (Kerala and Karnataka)

TV9 Bharatvarsh, Newslive and Northeast Live (Assam and Northeast)

First India News (Rajasthan)

Kolkata TV (West Bengal)

CVR News (AP & Telangana)

Polimer News (Tamil Nadu)

Khabar Fast (Haryana)

Living India News (Punjab)

Prag News (Assam)

NTV (AP & Telangana)

Maha News (AP & Telangana)

TV5 News (AP & Telangana)

MKTV (Tamil Nadu)

Vanitha TV (AP & Telangana)

DNN and IND24 (MP)

Shri Sankara TV & Ayush TV (Karnataka)

A1 TV (Jaipur)

Power TV (Karnataka)

Raj News (Tamil Nadu)

Flowers TV (Kerala)

CVR News Network (AP & Telangana)

National Voice (Uttar Pradesh)

Nirman News (Gujarat)

Anaadi TV (MP & Chhattisgarh)

VRL Media (Karnataka)

Calcutta News (West Bengal)

News 7 (Tamil Nadu), DNN & News World (MP & Chhattisgarh)

M H One (Haryana)

Mantavya News (Gujarat)

Gujarat Television ( Gujarat)

S News (West Bengal)

Bansal TV (MP)

Onkat TV (West Bengal)

Meanwhile, welcoming the formation of this diverse news association, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting had said, “I am very sure and confident that the News Broadcasters Federation will be a platform to discuss matters relevant to the TV News Industry. I also hope that NBF gives its recommendations and ensures discipline in broadcasting where truth does not become a casualty.” 

In a separate development, Javadekar informed the Lok Sabha that his Ministry was in talks with industry stakeholders to formulate a National Broadcasting Policy to push for greater transparency, protect the consumers and promote an orderly growth of the news broadcasting industry. 

Currently, News Broadcasters Association (NBA) is the primary industry body for the news broadcasters and has been setting the rules & regulations as well as the course for the industry in the country. 

Drawing up a comparison, a leading news broadcaster said, “Just add up the BARC reach of these news channels – they are a minority. NBA members still cover 85-90 per cent of the news viewing audience.”

With so many issues being raised against the newly-formed News Broadcasters Federation, one wonders whether it would be a dominant and effective voice for the news broadcasters. Or whether there would be a divide seen between the mainline national news broadcasters and the regional news broadcasters. In case it leads to that, it couldn’t have come during more trying times as the broadcast industry continues to reel under the landing page row.

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