DELHI: In a bid to check the rising menace of paid news, the
government is considering amending the Press and Registration
of Books and Publications Act.
recommendation was made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee
which examined the amendment bill of 2011 in this regard.
few instances related to electronic media have been brought
to the notice of the government, Information and Broadcasting
Minister Manish Tewari said.
such allegations/grievances/petitions regarding unethical
practices and incessant misreporting are received, the government
takes appropriate action under the Programme and Advertising
Code prescribed under Cable Television Networks (Regulation)
Act, 1995 and the Rules framed thereunder.
issue of paid news has also been examined by the Press Council
of India. It had submitted a report on paid news to the government
for necessary action after a sub-committee studied the issue.
Although the Government had initially released only a short
summary of the report, it had later placed the report on the
Councils website following an RTI application.
had recommended amendment to the Representation of the Peoples
Act 1951 to make incidence of paid news a punishable electoral
malpractice and suggested that the PCI must be fully empowered
to adjudicate the complaints of paid news to give
final judgment in the matter among others.
report had also suggested measures to curb the menace of paid
news like setting up of a special cell in the Election Commission
for action on such complaints and self-regulation by media
and awareness generation.
had cautioned the media to refrain from publishing news masquerading
as advertisement and vice-versa.
Election Commission has also taken cognizance of this malaise
and initiated steps to check incidence of election time paid
news, which includes transparency in the money spent by candidates
on advertising, a ban on exit and opinion polls until the
last round is over, and similar other measures.
the Ministry is in the process of making a reference to the
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to examine alleged monopolistic
practices in the distribution segment of the broadcasting
Government made a reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority
of India (Trai) on 16 May last year to examine the entire
gamut of media ownership issues.
Ministry has requested Trai to provide recommendations on
specific issues of vertical integration within the various
segments in the broadcasting sector as in the present scenario
more and more broadcasting companies owning television channels
are venturing into various distribution platforms, cable TV
distribution, DTH, and IPTV etc. and similarly many companies
owning distribution platforms are also entering into television
has also been asked to look into the issue of horizontal integration
wherein companies have controls/ownerships across print, TV
and radio. The broadcast sector's recommendations are awaited.