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MIB to consider bringing TV news under Press Council of India: Rathore

NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that the proposal to bring electronic media under the jurisdiction of the Press Council of India (PCI) may be considered after receiving the views of the council’s chairman.

The PCI is in the process of considering its earlier proposal for making amendments to the Press Council Act, 1978, to bring electronic media under its jurisdiction, Rathore informed in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

He added that in its 47th report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology had recommended that there should be a statutory body like Media Council having eminent persons as its members to look into all media contents both from print and electronic media.

Rathore said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its report on cross-media ownership, had also recommended a single regulatory body for print and electronic media.

In its May 2013 report, the committee had recommended establishing either a single regulatory body for both print and electronic media, or enhancing punitive powers of the PCI and setting up a similar statutory body for the electronic media. Such regulator(s) should have the power to take strong action against offenders and should not include media owners/interested parties as members.

The authority in its cross-media recommendations issued in August 2014 had stated that a single ‘media regulator’ for television and print was required to entertain complaints on paid news, private treaties, and issues related to editorial independence like investigating the complaints and having the power to enforce appropriate penalties.

The authority had also recommended that the media regulator should consist of eminent persons from different occupations, including the media, and that it should be manned predominantly by eminent non-media persons. The appointments to the regulatory body should be done through a fair and transparent process.