'Paid news has resulted in media being more careful'

Coimbatore: The paid news syndrome has resulted in the media becoming more careful while reporting events and laying more focus on society, Press Council of India chairman Justice G N Ray said on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters here, Ray said the Committee on paid news has already submitted its report to the Government, which would soon be placed in Parliament.

The media, being a vibrant partner of society, should have a system of self-introspection and some limitations while dealing with news and criticism or doing negative stories.

He referred to "exposes" on the Commonwealth Games, saying over exposure and repeated trials on CWG would lower the country's prestige.

Stating that newspapers are the mirror of society, bringing together multi-ethnic, multi-lingual people, Ray said it has also a great responsibility to restrain itself on emotionally fragile issues like the Ayodhya title suit verdict.

To a question, he said PCI was considering bringing the electronic media under its gambit and to set up a Media Commission, with larger participation.

Asked if the PCI required more teeth or punitive powers, Ray said it is not the Council's mandate and that it did not want to punish any newspaper.

On a suggestion that there be an Act on the lines of Section 353 (preventing government servants from discharging their duties) of the IPC to protect journalists, he said this would be brought to the government's notice.