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Press Council for one regulatory body for media

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 5: The Press Council of India today demanded a single body for regulation of both print and electronic media.

It expressed disappointment that the government had not responded to its repeated proposals in this regard.

''The Press Council which was already enforcing ethical norms for the print media should be converted into a media council for regulation of electronic media too,'' vice-chairperson of the Council Vibha Bhargav told UNI.

'The ethical norms cannot be different for the print and the electronic media, so having a separate body for the two sectors was not needed, she said when asked for her comments on the controversial draft regulation Bill.

She said the Press Council had forwarded proposals in this regard about seven years ago but so far, it had not got any positive response.

Ms Bhargav said a single body for both print and electronic media could have two wings dealing with the two sectors of news.

She said the council was also in favour of self regulation in the media and felt that the monitoring of content should be done by mediapersons only independent of the government or any pressure or persuasion.

Earlier, reacting to various provisions of the proposed broadcast bill, the Press Council said in a statement that the constitution provides unhindered freedom of speech and expression, subject only to reasonable restrictions.

''There are also sufficient laws that arm the civil and police authorities to take action against violation of a specific law,'' the statement said.

The council also reiterated its proposal for setting up a media commission to look into the question of the future growth and prospects of the media in the country.

Some provisions of the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2006, whose content became public recently, have created fears in a section of the media that the government would get sweeping powers to suppress the media once the Bill became a law.

However, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priyaranjan Dasmunsi has strongly denied that the government had any intention to do that and said the provisions were already existing in various Acts.

UNI

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