SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
Guinness Record Holder & RTI Activist
Ever since media has echoed public-voice in supporting political parties coming under RTI Act, many mainly including political community have raised counter-voice for media-houses for being covered by RTI Act. Those supporting media-houses to be covered by RTI Act have raised eyebrows on funding and profitability of TV news-channels and publications apart from some media-persons having acquired enormous wealth and several such other aspects. Even common journalists have demanded transparency in such aspects repeatedly at their associations. Issue was raised prominently by some very prominent senior journalists during an RTI seminar at Symbiosis (Pune) on 20.09.2013.
But legal provisions can permit only such media-houses under RTI Act which are substantially government-financed even though indirectly like allotment of land at subsidised rate/lease etc. Best is to make such transparency-provisions compulsory for all registered media-houses with Press Council being the supervisory regulatory authority so that funding and profitability of media-houses and wealth-details of every director/employee getting earnings of more than say rupees ten lakhs per annum may have to be compulsorily put on website. Why only media-houses and their directors/employees, such provision of wealth-declaration should be compulsory for even complete private-sector!