Self-regulation ''Council'' for media on the cards: I&B minister

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Chandigarh, Feb 13 (PTI) Union Minister Ambika Soni todaysaid that a ''Council'', headed by a retired Supreme Court judgeor ex-Chief Justice of a High Court, would be soon formed forself-regulation of the media.

Besides the Chairman, the ''Council'' will have 12 othermembers consisting of four members of the broadcasters, fourrepresentatives of civil society and one representative eachfrom NCW, NCPCR, National Commission for SC/ST and fourthly, arepresentative of the National Commission of the affectedparty, the I&B minister said at the seventh annual meet ofChandigarh Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) here.

"The Ministry is at the threshold of (announcing) thetwo-tier system -- one is for the individual channelsconfirming with the Cable Regulatory Act and second is to putin place the Council headed by a retired Supreme Court Judgeor a retired Chief Justice of a High Court," the I&B ministersaid.

The minister said she had written to the Prime Ministerearlier that she wanted to have two of her cabinet colleagues-- Home Minister P Chidambaram and Law Minister VeerappaMoily, so that they could talk across the political spectrumon the issue and pass on the feedback to the televisionindustry.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) would form aredressal committee in an effort to establish self-regulationon all non-news channels, she said.

"Our government believes that self-regulation is the bestand most intelligent and independent method of regulation in ademocratic set up like ours," she said.

The IBF''s redressal committee will be similar to the NewsBroadcasting Standards Authority set up by News BroadcastersAssociation (NBA), which is headed by ex-CJI Justice JS Verma.

The Authority acts as a self-regulatory body for newschannels.

Under the redressal mechanism, the viewers can addresstheir grievances to the broadcaster or the channel in thefirst place. If the viewer is not satisfied with the channel''sresponse, then he/she can lodge a complaint with the redressalcommittee, the minister said.

Parliamentarians and representatives of civil societyamong others had felt that some non-news channels had beenshowing content which was difficult for families to watch, shesaid.

Referring to the ''paid news'' phenomenon as a seriousmatter, she said that the issue was affecting the credibilityof news reports. (More) PTI SUN AKA

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