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BARC should overhaul its ratings system, says News Broadcasters Association

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

A healthy and vibrant TV news industry is vital to Indian democracy, says the industry body   -  REUTERS

Welcomes BARC's move to suspend weekly TV ratings of news channels for 12 weeks

Welcoming BARC’s decision to suspend measurement of weekly TV viewership ratings of news channels for 12 weeks, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) said that this suspension is an important step in the right direction and that BARC should completely overhaul its systems to restore credibility of TV viewership data.

Rajat Sharma, President, NBA, said, “Recent revelations have brought disrepute to the measurement agency and by extension the broadcast news media. The corrupted, compromised, irrationally fluctuating data is creating a false narrative on "What India Watches" and has been putting pressure on our members to take editorial calls that run counter to the journalistic values and ideals of journalism”.

BARC to pause weekly TRP ratings

‘Toxic atmosphere’

“The current atmosphere of toxicity, abuse and fake news is no longer tenable and NBA as the custodian and guardian of Indian broadcast media believes a bold step of putting ratings of news genre on hold will help in improving the content,” he added.

The industry body said it has been highlighting concerns about the veracity of TV viewership data for many years.

“Recent events have shown that there is much more at stake than just the measurement of news channels’ popularity. Indeed, a healthy and vibrant TV news industry is vital to Indian democracy,” Sharma added.

As manipulation scandal explodes, TRPs in eye of storm

NBA said it hopes BARC utilises this period of suspension to implement important reforms.

“To safeguard the integrity of viewership data, human intervention in its collection and processing must be totally eliminated. Data security, including encryption and restricting access to key information, must be ensured. Complaints, if any, should be dealt with in an independent and transparent manner. NBA also expects greater consultation and openness when important decisions are taken by BARC,” the industry body added in its statement.

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Published on October 15, 2020
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