The News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA), a self-regulatory agency set up by news and digital broadcasters, has fined the Hindi TV channel News18 India Rs 50,000 for turning a news debate on hijab into a “communal issue” and not adhering to guidelines.


What is NBDSA?

  • The NBDSA is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA), which serves as a representative of private television news, current affairs and digital broadcasters. It describes itself as “the collective voice of the news, current affairs and digital broadcasters in India.
  • Funded entirely by its members, the NBDA has 26 news and current affairs broadcasters (comprising 119 news and current affairs channels) as its members. Various senior members of Indian media organisations serve on its Board of Directors.
  • Apart from presenting a unified front, it carries out activities “to promote, protect and secure the interests including the right of freedom of speech and expression of the news broadcasters, digital news media and other related entities.”
  • It shares developments in the industry with members, provides a space for achieving common goals and consensus and aims to protect all its members from persons carrying “unfair and/or unethical practices or who discredit the television news broadcasters, digital news media and other related entities,” according to its stated objectives.
  • Structure —
      • The body includes a Chairperson who is to be an eminent jurist, and other members such as news editors, and those experienced in the field of law, education, literature, public administration, etc. nominated by a majority of the Board. Former Supreme Court judge and jurist AK Sikri is currently serving as the Chairperson.
  • Powers —
      • The Authority may initiate proceedings on its own and issue notice or take action in respect to any matter which falls within its regulations. This can also be through complaints referred to the Authority by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting or any other governmental body, or by anyone else via its website.