Pros And Cons Of Cross Media Curbs

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Cross Media Curbs—Diversity of Opinion The subject has thrown open a serious debate to discuss the merits and demerits of cross media curbs.

No curbs
“Disallowing newspapers in television will restrict plurality and diversity of viewers’ choice” is the general opinion propounded by the adherents of no-cross media curbs school of thought. Cross media curbs are unrealistic and against public sentiment, they believe (Mullik: 1997). This opinion stresses against any regulation or restrictions on cross media holdings and believes that newspapers are better equipped to branch off into any other media stream, like television, than any other entrepreneur.
“The fear of monopoly in the Indian media marketplace appears unfounded, since it
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To deny them opportunity for lateral expansion is like saying that cinema artists are automatically debarred from transferring their talents to the television screen. Nationwide, they say, Hindi newspapers which account for the single largest bloc of circulation still reach only 35 per cent of the total Indian market. No individual newspaper among them can enjoy an outsized share of the readership that is even more fragmented in case of other languages, including English (Sarkar: 1997).
On the technicalities of the issue, the relevance of the cross media curbs vis a vis technology also came to be questioned. “Significantly in the United States and some other countries, satellite television, satellite radio, cable, DTH and MMDS (Microwave Multipoint Distribution System) are outside the purview of the cross media restrictions. Only terrestrial services are covered by cross media curbs, Mullick opined in the series of articles he wrote on the subject during
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The proposed bill did not disregard scope and strength of cross media as is often made out. The bill only sets certain limits on control, not on participation (ibid.). As for the claim that cross media curbs were originally meant in United States for the single newspaper TV cities, Rao maintains that for whatever reason, historical or otherwise, there are certain cities and states (seven or eight) in India where a single newspaper dominates, in a couple of cases with more than 50% market share, both in circulation and readership as in the cases of Andhra Pradesh or Rajasthan. Hence, he contended, the scope for limiting cross media holdings (ibid.). The question is not whether newspapers are better equipped or not to operate broadcast services, but what is good for the people and the country. Also it is not a question of business interests alone. The creativity and entrepreneurship potential in the country being what it is and the imbalance and inequalities in access to media being what they are, certain cross media regulations are more than desirable. Business interests of a couple of media barons will no doubt get affected because of such regulations. But a much larger number of people, readers as well as viewers, will eventually be the beneficiaries; so also the journalists and the democratic process and civil society (Nathan:

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