Government Public Relations and Broadcast Regulation: Evaluating Electronic Media Regulations in South Asia
Florida State University, USA
Media Watch 9 (2) 156-166, 2018
In South Asia, the public relations departments of the Indian and Pakistani governments have been playing a critical role in the making of broadcast regulation policies and enactment of media laws, which helped successive governments and bureaucracies intervene in the business and functioning of the companies providing electronic media services to millions of people in the region. The regulatory processes and enactment of laws governing electronic media help public relations departments of various regional governments maintain their control over the content and routine operations of media organizations. This article examines why and how bureaucratic powers have hampered the process of broadcast regulation in India and Pakistan. The comparison is heuristically significant despite social and political differences between Pakistan and India, as both countries have inherited similar laws governing broadcasting from the British colonial rule and most of the pre-partition regulations are still in place. The article concludes that a great deal of political effort is required to establish independent regulatory authorities in both countries due to the overarching control of bureaucracies in both societies.