Palakkad: The Press Council of India on Sunday
said a Commission should be set up to study the functioning of
the electronic media to ensure they do not "cross the limits"
while covering news.
Addressing a meet-the-press programme in Palakkad, the Council
chairman, justice GN Ray, said there was a trend, especially
among TV channels, to go after sensational news. Journalists
should know the "Lakshman Rekha" of their freedom, he said.
The people would come out in protest if the media grew
"too big for their boots" and freedom would be curbed if the
media lost the support of the people, Ray said.
He said it was time the Press Council Act was amended to
include stringent clauses, enabling it to implement the
provisions in the Act. The existing legislation was 22 years
old and should be updated, he said.
Justice Ray, who inaugurated a national seminar on `The
Role of Money Power in Elections` organised by the Indian
Journalists Union (IJU) here last evening, said media coverage
of polls at present did not focus on real issues of the
people, but was led by sensationalism and glamour.
In the age of globalisation, media was increasingly being
governed by market forces. The media should address serious
issues to eradicate social and political evils, Ray said.
Though media institutions had the right to profess their
own political beliefs, it was also under an obligation to
ensure fair and accurate reporting on public issues and
policies, he said.