PCI for new Media Commission and Media Council

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Panaji, Oct 5 (UNI) The Press Council of India (PCI) today pleaded with the Centre for immediate formation of a Media Council and a Media Commission, encompassing all types of media, to review their status and role in the explosively emerging information era.

Interacting with mediapersons after concluding the last sitting of the Council in its three-year term in this Goan capital, the PCI Chairman Justice G N Ray also favoured giving more teeth to the Council not to serve as a ''penal body'' but check aberrations in the media.

He said he had already recommended powers to direct the Centre for starving the delinquent newspaper of central advertisements for at least three months as a deterrent, particularly those who fail to relent and publish adjudications of the Council prominently.

With the emergence of the electronic media in a big way during the last 41 years of existence of the PCI, the country needed to bring to its jurisdiction the electronic media also by constituting the Media Council with immediate effect.

Otherwise, the Government could constitute a separate regulatory body for the electronic media. There could not be a separate rule for one media and the other in a democratic society, he said.

Referring to tendencies to control the media and the journalists through appointments by way of contract jobs and other restrictions by the owners in this era of ''trivialisation, corporatisation and globalisation,'' the journalists themselves should raise their voice, he said.

The constitution of a media commission was a must to make an in-depth study of the status of the media covering all types including the electronic. The last commission headed by Justice K M Mathew was constituted in 1982 which submitted its recommendations in 1984. The first was headed by Justice Rajadhyaksha in 1952.

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