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`Self-regulation Council for media on the cards`

Union Minister Ambika Soni said that a `Council`, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or ex-Chief Justice of a High Court, would be soon formed for self-regulation of the media.

Chandigarh: Union Minister Ambika Soni on Sunday said that a `Council`, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge
or ex-Chief Justice of a High Court, would be soon formed for
self-regulation of the media.

Besides the Chairman, the `Council` will have 12 other
members consisting of four members of the broadcasters, four
representatives of civil society and one representative each
from NCW, NCPCR, National Commission for SC/ST and fourthly, a
representative of the National Commission of the affected
party, the I&B minister said at the seventh annual meet of
Chandigarh Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) here.
"The Ministry is at the threshold of (announcing) the
two-tier system -- one is for the individual channels
confirming with the Cable Regulatory Act and second is to put
in place the Council headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge
or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court," the I&B minister

The minister said she had written to the Prime Minister
earlier that she wanted to have two of her cabinet colleagues
-- Home Minister P Chidambaram and Law Minister Veerappa
Moily, so that they could talk across the political spectrum
on the issue and pass on the feedback to the television
The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) would form a
redressal committee in an effort to establish self-regulation
on all non-news channels, she said.

"Our government believes that self-regulation is the best
and most intelligent and independent method of regulation in a
democratic set up like ours," she said.

The IBF`s redressal committee will be similar to the News
Broadcasting Standards Authority set up by News Broadcasters
Association (NBA), which is headed by ex-CJI Justice JS Verma.
The Authority acts as a self-regulatory body for news

Under the redressal mechanism, the viewers can address
their grievances to the broadcaster or the channel in the
first place. If the viewer is not satisfied with the channel`s
response, then he/she can lodge a complaint with the redressal
committee, the minister said.

Parliamentarians and representatives of civil society
among others had felt that some non-news channels had been
showing content which was difficult for families to watch, she

Referring to the `paid news` phenomenon as a serious
matter, she said that the issue was affecting the credibility
of news reports.


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