Media Censorship is Impossible: Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley

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Media Censorship is Impossible: Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley

File photo of Finance Minister and Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley.

New Delhi:  Censorship of information in the present age is "an impossibility", Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday but observed that aberrations like 'paid news' are likely to creep in when news organisations do not have "realistic" financial models.

He said the definition of news and the behaviour of consumer have changed with technological advancement and "something that camera cannot capture is hardly news these days".

Articulating his views on the media scene at a function in New Delhi, Mr Jaitley said, "One of the worries is that the financial model for all (news) organisations must be a realistic model. Because if the financial model is not a realistic model, then imperfections will enter. And these imperfections will lead to aberrations. Paid news is one such aberration."

Paid news has been a concern about which even the Election Commission has been looking at ways to deal with.

At the same time, he made it clear that media censorship in the current age was not possible.
    
"Fortunately, there are very few dictatorships in the world. But even if there were, censorship, because of technology itself would be an impossibility," he said.

Mr Jaitley, who also holds Finance Ministry portfolio, said that in this age of competition and to gain more eyeballs, it may seem that quality is being compromised. However, he added that he had faith that in the long run, the best will succeed.

He said the rapid advances of technology in broadcasting sector have brought along their own challenges and it is difficult to predict the future horizons of this evolution.

With tools of information dissemination freely available, Mr Jaitley said he had at times read his own speeches which he had never delivered.

In a lighter vein, he added that the "consolation" to him as the Finance Minister is that "at least one sector of manufacturing is doing well", in an apparent reference to media sector.


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