Broadcasting Content Complaints Council has submitted a report to MIB along with its recommendations
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | January 24, 2013
Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), the independent self-regulatory body for non-news general entertainment channels set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) in June 2011, has reiterated its commitment towards self-regulation to improve the quality of content and stricter compliance of its guidelines by member channels. Apart from the existing provision of revoking the licence of a broadcaster after repeated violations of the Programme and Advertising Code five times or more, the council is considering graded financial penalty for serious violations by channels.
The council held a media conference in New Delhi yesterday, which was addressed by BCCC Chairperson, Justice (Retd) AP Shah, IBF President Man Jit Singh, BCCC members Shabana Azmi and Bhaskar Ghose, and IBF Vice-President Rajat Sharma. BCCC broadcast members, Ashok Nambissan (MSM Media) and Sujit Jain (Viacom 18), were also present.
Justice Shah said, âThe BCCC has taken a serious note of complaints relating to women and children and issued advisories in this regard. Broadcasters should strictly avoid showing children below the age of 12 dancing to item numbers. The treatment of children during the course of the programme is also important. Stereotyping of women should be discouraged in TV programmes.â
âWe have made certain suggestions and recommendations to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting with regard to Clause 10.2 of the Uplinking Guidelines. We feel a provision for graded financial penalty can be introduced for serious violations by channels,â Justice Shah added. The BCCC has submitted a report to the MIB in this respect on January 22, 2013.
Summary of BCCCâs recommendations:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Degree of breach: Extent and the severity of the breach
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Duration of breach: Time period for which the breach was alive
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Harm caused as a result of the breach: Whether, and to what extent, has any injury been caused to the objectives of the restrictions
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Reversibility of the harm: whether the harm can be corrected through any measures
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Measures taken for correction of the breach: Whether the broadcaster has taken any measures for the correction of the breach
IBF President Man Jit Singh said, âSelf-regulation is the most appropriate way to handle content on television. The BCCC is a truly independent council that looks into complaints from all over the country. The broadcasters take all recommendations, directions and advisories of the BCCC very seriously and will continue to support the councilâs efforts.â
Putting forward the IBF perspective, Singh added, âThere has been 100 per cent compliance by all IBF members with respect to every advisory issued by BCCC and we will continue to support the commission.â
BCCC member Shabana Azmi said, âFreedom of speech and expression, especially artistic freedom, is very important and a democratic right. This freedom, however, comes with responsibility, and this is where BCCC plays an important role.â
âAt BCCC, we hear the channels when serious complaints come before us. We are happy to say that there has been full compliance of the BCCCâs directives by the member channels,â Azmi added.
IBF Vice-President Rajat Sharma said, âWe acknowledge that the compliance of BCCC advisories has resulted in improvement of quality of content and the process will continue with the support from all member channels.â
BCCC member Bhaskar Ghose said, âAt present, debates relating to content and similar issues cater only to a defined audience. We feel its scope needs to be expanded with fruitful participation of a much wider audience in society.â
The BCCCÂ came into being after consultationsÂ between the IBF andÂ the Ministry of Information & BroadcastingÂ to implementÂ âSelf-Regulatory Guidelines and Complaints Redressal Mechanismâ for all non-news channels, including general entertainment, children and special interest channels.
There has been a rapid increase in the number of complaintsÂ beingÂ handled by BCCCÂ in view of the various measures implemented by the IBFâs member channels and the increased awareness amongst the Indian television audience. Answering media queries, Shah said there was a need to publicise the guidelines on member channels.
Till November 30, 2012, BCCC received 8,628 complaints and suggestions, including 1,072 âSpecific Complaintsâ, and it has disposed of an overwhelming number of these to the satisfaction of complainants.
So far, the BCCC has held 21 meetings. Each of these has yielded encouraging results in the quest to uphold and strengthen high standards of self-regulation based on the principles of autonomy, transparency and accountability.
So far, BCCC has issued seven Advisories to channels on different issues:
The BCCC has decided to hold similar sensitisationÂ sessions with S&P heads of channels in other parts of the country.