Katju pitches for bringing electronic media under PCI purview
Chennai: Pitching for bringing the electronic media under the ambit of Press Council of India, its Chairman Markandey Katju Monday said he took up the issue with the Prime Minister yet nothing has been done.
Katju, who has been insisting on regulating the electronic media, said he had proposed certain recommendations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding the Press Council Act, "...Yet nothing has been done. Evidently, the TV channel people are very powerful. Whatever reason, but nothing has come out."
If lawyers, judges, doctors and Chartered Accountants could be held accountable, he asked, "Why not the media? The media says there should be no restriction on us. Are you not accountable? Everyone should be accountable in a democracy ...Are they above the law? Are they Gods?"
He said electronic media should be under the PCI purview as "every social activity has to be regulated.
There cannot be any freedom which is absolute. Every freedom has to be subjected to reasonable restriction in the public interest."
Delivering a lecture on 'Self Regulation in Electronic Media in India' at Anna University here, Katju said electronic media would also have their representatives in the proposed Media Council and their voices would also be heard.
"But there should be some regulation with some powers to punish, if you do something anti-national and anti-social."
Rejecting the concept of self-regulation, Katju said there had to be some external regulation, which should not be by the government, but by a statutory body, like the PCI.
Holding that media mainly focus on profit margins, Katju said, "The owners are asking the managers to keep up the TRP ratings. TRP ratings are kept high by showing things like astrology, half naked women and ghost stories..."