`Independent media regulatory authority needed`
Prashant Bhushan said the Press Council of India did not enjoy any "serious authority" to take action against abuse of authority by media houses.
Thiruvananthapuram: The country needed an independent and empowered regulatory authority for the media sector to check unhealthy tendencies of sensationalism and inaccurate reporting, senior lawyer and social activist Prasant Bhushan said here on Sunday.
"Self-regulation will not work in media, as is the case in any other profession. An agency independent of the government, capable of taking action against erring media should be formed," he said inaugurating a seminar on `role of media in combating corruption` organised in connection with the centenary celebrations of `Kerala Kaumudi` Malayalam daily.
Bhushan said the Press Council of India did not enjoy any "serious authority" to take action against abuse of authority by media houses. The government was appointing at the helm of the Council persons who could be used to muscle the media, the Team Anna member charged.
He said the tendency of large corporates buying the shares of media institutions also posed a threat to balanced reporting on corruption in the country.
Commending the useful role of the media in initiating a debate on corruption especially in recent times, he said media houses should employ honest, matured persons for investigative reporting and ensure dissemination of all factual information to the public.
He said corruption had turned out to be one of the main engines driving the policies of people in power and corrupt mafia of corporates threatened democracy. "Corruption induces government to adopt anti-people policies," he said.
Corrupt corporates having mining leases were plundering the natural resources and displacing tribals and other backward people from their environs denying them livelihood.
"While the mining mafia grows, the human development index of the country is coming down," he said.