Television

Press Council wants larger ambit to deal with paid news

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NEW DELHI: The Press Council of India has demanded that it should be reconstituted with members from the electronic and other media if it has to check the paid news syndrome.

In its report dated 30 July, the PCI also wanted the Press Council of India Act 1978 to be amended to give it more powers to make its recommendations binding, and for empowering it to adjudicate the complaints of paid news and give final judgment in the matter.

Parliament was informed by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni that the Representation of the People?s Act 1951 should be amended to make incidence of paid news a punishable electoral malpractice.

It has recommended that the Election Commission should set up a special cell for action against complaints about paid news.

While recommending self-regulation by the media to check the menace, the PCI said the guidelines drawn up by it earlier on coverage of elections should be adhered to by the media organisations.

Voters should be educated to enable them to differentiate between paid news items from genuine news, and there should be awareness generation amongst the stakeholders.

At the outset, the Council has defined paid news as "any news or analysis appearing in any media (print and electronic) for a price in cash or kind as consideration."

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