The most striking difference between broadcast and print media regulation is inequality. As Albon and Papandrea (1998) write: “…print media are not subject to direct regulatory controls, [however] they are indirectly influenced by cross-media ownership rules…”In the United States, where freedom of speech and of the press is assured by the First Amendment of their constitution, the Supreme Court has stated, “it is well settled that the First Amendment has a special meaning in the broadcast context.”
Early this year the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting banned the transmission of two satellite/cable television channels for a period of three months each: AXN, Sony’s channel for action movies, and FTV, the fashion channel from Paris. This was perhaps the first time in the history of Indian broadcasting that a satellite channel had been banned, without any prior notice or warning, and even more surprisingly, without any public discussion of the law that the two channels had infringed. Apparently, the two channels were flouting the guidelines of the Programme Code of the Cable
Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995. The Act provides detailed guidelines on obscenity and violence in programming. Sony and FTV did not challenge the ban, nor did any public interest or civil rights group.
India does not as yet have a media regulatory body like OfCom (Office of Communication).
... PUBLIC RELATIONS THE MEDIA: REGULATORY ASPECTS OF THE PRESS, TELEVISION AND ADVERTISING INDUSTRY. The role of the media goes much further ... expectations of the audience about advertising content of particular channels at particular times. Advertisements broadcast must seek to ... must be taken in the broadcast of advertisements on channels intend for consumption by children, whereby advertisements for ...
Each mass medium or information and communication technology (ICT) has its own regulatory authority: the press is monitored by the Press Council of India, telecommunications is regulated by TRAI (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India), cinema by the CBFC (Central Board for Film Certification), advertising by the ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India), but broadcasting media, though operating under the AIR Code and the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act (1995), do not have similar regulatory or monitoring bodies. After the ban on AXN and FTV Indian broadcasters have got together to evolve a non-governmental self-regulatory mechanism.
The Indian mass media today comprises over 300 TV channels (reaching 112 million households), 50,000 newspapers and magazines (with a readership of over 250 million), around 300 radio stations, a thousand feature films in 18 languages made every year, and a plethora of print, electronic, digital and telecommunications media. According to the latest FICCI-Price-Waterhouse Cooper Report (2007), the Indian media and entertainment industry is worth over two hundred billion dollars and is projected to grow at the rate of 18- 20% per annum.