Press Council report on paid news syndrome next week

NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting C M Jatua has assured Parliament that the government will take action to tackle the problem of paid news based on the recommendations of the Press Council of India.

The Council is expected to firm up its views on the malaise of paid news syndrome by the end of this month, as it is expected to meet on 26 April to discuss the issue.

According to Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources, the Sub-Committee set up by the Council to study the malaise has already finalised and given its report to the Council.

The Sub-Committee had also met representatives of the Indian Newspapers Society and the Indian Language Newspapers Association. Meetings were also held in Mumbai and Hyderabad apart from Delhi to meet stakeholders. The representatives of the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists named six newspapers, carrying numerous paid news stories.

The Sub-Committee was set up following a drive launched by the Editors Guild of India against paid news in December 2009.

In a meeting, representatives of the Election Commission had asked the Council to define what constituted “paid news” so that expenditure incurred by the political parties and the candidates can be made accountable.

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