SET UP A COUNCIL FOR ALL FORMS OF MEDIA, SAYS PARLIAMENTARY PANEL

The government should set up an all-encompassing ‘Media Council’ and give it statutory powers to check irregularities in all forms of media — print, electronic and digital, the parliamentary committee headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has said.

The panel which has been discussing ‘Ethical Standards in Media Coverage’, has tabled the report framed by it in Lok Sabkha on Wednesday i.e., 1st December, 2021. The panel in the report has suggested setting up a media commission comprised of experts, for wider consultation amongst interested groups and all stakeholders, so as to build a consensus on how the proposed media council should evolve.

The need for changes in the Cable TV Networks (Regulations) Act, 1955 has also been pointed out in the report.

“The Press Council is a statutory body and is in existence for the print media but for the television there is no such statutory body. While the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) and the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) have developed as organisations, they are not formally recognised by the government. There are many channels that are not members of NBA. By amending the Act, a provision would be made that action on any complaint should be by rule instead of being by an executive order,” the committee said.

It also said that stakeholder comments to the proposed amendments to the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 are under the ministry’s consideration and that there is a discussion over having an umbrella statute for the entire broadcasting sector covering print, electronic and online media.

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