New Delhi: A Group of Ministers (GoM) will
shortly meet to examine Press Council of India`s report on paid news, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni
informed the Rajya Sabha Monday.
"The next meeting (of GoM) is scheduled soon," Soni said
during the Question Hour.
She said the GoM, constituted in January last year, could
not meet before September due to reasons like pre-engagements
of the panel`s chairperson Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The Press Council had submitted a report on paid news to
the government for necessary action.
As the recommendations made in the report on paid news has
"wider ramifications", the government constituted the GoM to
examine the matter and give views for a comprehensive policy
and institutional mechanism to address the issue.]
"The matter is under consideration of GoM," Soni said.
The PCI has recommended amendment to the Representation
of the People`s Act, 1951, to make incidence of paid news a
punishable electoral malpractice and suggested that the PCI
must be fully empowered to adjudicate the complaints of "paid
news" to give final judgement in the matter among others.
The report has also suggested measures to curb the menace
of paid news like setting up of a special cell in the Election
Commission for action on such complaints and self-regulation
by media and awareness generation.
PCI has cautioned the media to refrain from publishing
news masquerading as advertisement and vice-versa.
The Election Commission has also taken cognisance of the
phenomena and initiated steps to check incidence of election
time paid news.