Non issues often get prominence in media: Katju

Persuasion rather than coercion is the method which new chairman of Press Council India Markandey Katju would favour.

New Delhi: "Non issues" often get prominence while "real issues" get ignored in the media but persuasion rather than coercion is the method which new chairman of Press Council India and former Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju would favour.

"Poverty and unemployment are major issues facing the country. And not that the wife of some film actor has got pregnant. But these days, it makes big news," Katju said as he joined his new office here.

"What problem of the nation will it help solve whether a film actor`s wife would give birth to a single child or twins? But this gets displayed prominently on the front page," he said.

"If you consider yourself as those serving the public, then you should address the problems facing the public," said Katju.

On his role as the Chairman of the Press council, Katju said he would prefer persuasion to coercion.

"I was going through papers and it has been suggested by some that there should be provisions like fines and cancellation of licenses but I am not in favour of such
methods," Katju said.

Katju said he had called informal meetings with senior journalists and would prefer an approach of consensus towards highlighting the right issues.

Though the Press Council Act is confined to the print media, Katju said he would hold discussions with the electronic media journalists as well.

Katju said there were good and responsible people in the media and even they would want to work to earn the respect of the people.


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