The unearthing of TRP (Television Rating Point) racket in Republic TV and a couple of Marathi channels by Maharashtra police has kicked up a sensation in the media industry and led to serious debate over the malpractices in securing ratings from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), India.
However, it is an open secret that many of the regional television channels also do this kind of manipulation of viewership to get high TRP ratings from BARC.
Bharatiya Janata Party, which is fretting and fuming at the Maharashtra police targeting only Republic TV, is demanding that a comprehensive probe be ordered into the TRP manipulations by regional channels as well.
Telangana BJP spokesman K Krishna Sagar demanded that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry initiate a comprehensive investigation into the TRP ratings manipulation through BARC meteres tampering, by both regional and national news channels.
“This illegal and immoral practice will not just destroy the credibility of news media but also impact the market economy in India, through unreliable viewership metrics for advertising and sales promotion,” he said.
He alleged that the FIR filed in this reference in Maharashtra is evidently being used to settle political scores by the state government against select news channels using Police Department as an instrument.
“BJP wishes that good sense of healthy competition should prevail to protect journalistic values, integrity of news reporting and credibility of media as a guardian of constitutional rights,” Rao said.
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