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Leading News Channels Summoned By Mumbai Police Over TRP Scam

Republic TV CFO skips police summon, wants probe halted till Supreme Court hearing

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Ishita Chakraborty
Ishita Chakraborty
A computer engineer who has a passion for writing, a hodophile, social activist, youth activist for PETA India, and a linguaphile. A journalist covering Social issues & United Nations initiatives for transcontinental times.

INDIA. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) has decided to take up the issue of media ethics and the Television Rating Point (TRP) scam for discussion. On Oct 15 and 16, the panel will discuss the issues regarding media ethics.

Indian politician, Shashi Tharoor will lead the discussion panel. A few days ago, BJP leaders had asked for the removal of Shashi Tharoor from the Parliamentary Standing Committee. However, Shashi Tharoor is now reappointed as the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology.

TRP scam by leading news channels

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Previously, there were reports of TRP manipulations by some major news channels. TRP is a tool to judge which TV programs are viewed the most. It also indicates the viewers’ choice and popularity of a particular channel. Meanwhile, Republic TV and two other channels were accused of manipulating their channel’s ratings.

On Thursday, the Mumbai Police claimed it has busted a TRP scam involving three TV news channels – Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.

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Police also said that the owners and top management of Republic TV would be called for interrogation. Police have already arrested the owners of the two other channels.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Parliamentary panel will be taking up the topic of “ethical standards in media coverage”.

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In his statement, Congress MP and member of the panel, Karti Chidambaram said, “The government’s advertising expenditure depends on the TRP system, and public spending should not be based on flawed data”.

The panel will discuss several issues including the topic of women security in the digital space, the cybersecurity scenario in India, a review of the functioning of Doordarshan channels, among other topics.

The TRP scam came into light when Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), an organization which measures TR saw some drastic changes in the ratings. After that, Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd, a firm contracted by BARC, filed a complaint against the news channels. According to the reports, India Today got a fine of 5 lakh ($6,852) by BARC for viewership malpractice.

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