In response to representations made by editors of news channels disfavouring government regulation on news contents, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has put the proposed changes on hold and said “widest consultation with stakeholders will be conducted before finalising the proposal”.
To allay fears of news channels that the government was trying to gag media, the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday said different point of views in the media would be taken before shaping up the changes.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, too, assured news channels that she will take up the matter with the PM.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had earlier made it mandatory for news channels to show government footage during situations defined as “national emergencies”.
Most news channel editors had termed the proposal as draconian and an attempt to gag media’s freedom of expression and creativity.
Denouncing any government regulation, BJP leader L.K. Advani said, “It is imperative that a code of self-regulation be evolved, which ensures that anti-national elements are not able to take advantage of the freedom of media,” said Advani.
The CPI(M), however, is for regulation through an independent body.