Fighting fake news and misinformation biggest challenge, says I&B secretary

Published on Nov 18, 2022 09:11 AM IST

I&B secretary Apurva Chandra added the media industry plays a crucial role in conveying important messages to the people, and that it did great job during the Covid-19 pandemic

I&B secretary Apurva Chandra addressing a press conference in this file image. (ANI image)
I&B secretary Apurva Chandra addressing a press conference in this file image. (ANI image)
ByDeeksha Bhardwaj

Information and broadcasting secretary Apurva Chandra on Thursday said the major challenge lies in fighting fake news and protecting the people from misinformation.

“The major challenge lies in fighting fake news and protecting the people from misinformation,” Chandra said.

He added the media industry plays a crucial role in conveying important messages to the people, and that it did great job during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chandra was speaking at the CII Big picture summit that explored the challenges being faced by the media and entertainment industry.

Also Read:Apurva Chandra appointed next I&B secretary

The I&B secretary said India has over 1.2 billion mobile phone users and 600 million smartphone users who are consuming a high amount of information and entertainment via mobile devices.

He stressed on the fact that there has been a shift from the traditional media as youngsters were consuming information from new media sources.

He also mentioned that the direct to mobile Broadcasting, an initiative by IIT Kanpur, is a pilot study which will lead to the profusion of content in India owing to the large number of households consuming data and highlighted the many relaxations introduced by the government with respect to FM and the transfer of channels.

“TRAI will soon release consultation papers on recommendations for FM which the government will then take action on,” Chandra said.

He said IIT-Kanpur and Sankhya Labs have carried out a pilot study on direct to mobile broadcasting in Bengaluru and were now launching another study in either Noida or some place near Delhi.

Chandra said the government was also working on the issue of TRP ratings.

The pilot project on reverse path data (RPD) has been successful and a report on that will be available soon, he said.

“We will now integrate more and more reverse path data as the number of households involved in BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) ratings was quite low. With RPD, the TRP will become much larger,” Chandra said.

RPD capable set-top boxes can store data of the channels that were viewed and return the information to the cable operator, which may in-turn be assessed by BARC to ascertain the TRP data.

He advocated that the ultimate vision for the M&E industry must be “Create in India”, focusing solely on creating content in India. The government is working towards attracting more and more foreign artists to come in India to shoot content.

(With agency inputs)

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