I&B minister urges media restraint on sensitive issues

NEW DELHI: The minister of information & broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad has called upon the media, both print and electronic, to exercise self-restraint while reporting on sensitive matters like riots, terrorist activities and security related issues.



There has to be a proper blend in the freedom of expression and the citizens right to choice Prasad said. Inaugurating the new premises for the Press Council of India (PCI) at Soochna Bhawan here today, Prasad said that the Press Council has suggested some more powers to ensure that it decisions are implemented. These are being looked into but a holistic view has to be taken and the government has to ensure that it is not seen as reflection a press freedom.

He said that the government had no intention to exercise any control on press freedom. In this connection, he also said that the representation on PCI also has to be considered so that the oligarchy is not allowed and the representation is on a wide basis. This would give greater moral authority and respect to the Council.

The minister also pointed out to the debate on whether the newspapers should be treated as a commodity or institution. Should the editorials and the news items be sponsored or not? All these questions have to be addressed by the mediapersons to retain the credibility of the newspapers, he said.

Prasad said that the newspapers still have great reach and relevance despite the onslaught of the TV channels. India has about 50,000 newspapers published in 82 languages with a sixty million circulation of daily newspapers with a growth rate of five per cent.

The chairman of Press Council of India Justice Jayachandra Reddy called upon the newspapers to uphold the high traditions to emulate the great role they played during the freedom struggle. He also called for some sort of regulation for the electronic media, which at present is not bound by any norms, he said. The minister also launched the website of the Press Council on the occasion.

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