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No online media ownership regulations yet because of lack of reach – TRAI; Our Take

In its recommendations to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Media Ownership, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has steered clear of recommending any restrictions on media ownership online, while restricting its recommendations, regarding media ownership, paid news, Private Treaties, and M&A, to Print and Television only. The TRAI has said that at present "the Internet does not seem to be a relevant segment owing to low penetration, the existence of a multitude of sources for news and opinions on the medium, and a general lack of authenticity surrounding opinions shared on the web." The points made in the TRAI recommendations about the Internet: 1. Internet important for opinion formation, but views online not as trustworthy as TV or Print:  "In India too, the media – press, radio, television and, now, the internet - has certainly played a significant role in the manner in which democracy has evolved over the years." The Internet "is an important platform for opinion formation because of the presence of numerous bloggers and social networking sites, where opinions are openly put forth, debated and discussed. However, people may not perceive viewpoints on blogs and social media to be as trustworthy, accurate or authentic as those of the press or television as the former only portray personal opinions and are not backed by adequately resourced news gathering platforms." 2. No dominant news entity in the Internet: "There is no dominant news entity in the Internet segment, as any player in the news genre who so desires…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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