Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 11
In a move much anticipated, a notification signed by President Ram Nath Kovind brings over-the-top (OTT) platforms like online news portals and streaming services under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
While Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had assured in 2019 that the Centre would not curb media freedom, he had stressed the need for a regulatory mechanism for the digital media, just as the one for other mediums like the print and electronic.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and 13 other online platforms had signed up for a self-regulation code in September 2020, agreeing to develop a framework for content description, age classification and access control along with having a committee to address consumer complaints. Outspoken actor Swara Bhasker posted, “Chalo, goodbye good content!”
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta observed: “ This desperation for control of free speech and expression does not augur well. I am very disappointed.” Filmmaker Rahul Mittra was of the opinion that just as news channels are regulated, not censored, the same could apply to OTT platforms and online news portals, “ but at the same time a filmmaker’s right to expression should not be comprised.”
Filmmaker Madhureeta Anand said she was yet to decipher the regulations. “In any case any kind of censorship is detrimental,” she added.
Actor Rishina Kandhari believes the OTTs and the ministry need to work together as “meaningful content will continue to create an impact, irrespective of the regulations.” Paritosh Tripathi, who will be seen in “Ludo” observed: “ Along with being an artist, I am also a citizen. I do believe in certain norms.”
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