Centre rejects Parliamentary panel’s recommendation to set up media council
The committee on Information Technology had proposed a body to check irregularities in print, digital and electronic media.
The Union government on Thursday said that it was not considering to implement a parliamentary panel recommendation to form a council to check irregularities in print, digital and electronic media, PTI reported.
The recommendation to form a media council was made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology, led by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on December 2.
In a written response to the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that the government did not find it necessary at present to set up the body, PTI reported.
“The government regularly holds consultations with stakeholders and utilises data/information available from various sources for policy formulation, building strategies, etc,” Thakur said. “The setting up of a Media Commission is not considered necessary at present.”
In its recommendation, the Tharoor-led committee had observed that media, which was once the “most trusted weapon in the hands of the citizenry”, was losing its integrity and credibility.
The committee had said that the efficacy of the existing regulatory organisations such as the Press Council of India and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority was limited.
“The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should explore the possibility of establishing a wider Media Council encompassing not just the print media but the electronic and digital media as well, and equip it with statutory powers to enforce its orders where required,” the parliamentary panel had suggested.
The panel had added that with statutory powers, the proposed media council would be able to take measures to “check irregularities, ensure freedom of speech and professionalism, and maintain the highest ethical standards and credibility.”
The committee had also recommended the government should form a Media Commission led by experts to provide consultation on the matter of establishing the media council.