Stating that the Indian media was "terribly" deviating from its objectives, Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Justice G N Roy said on Sunday that the "paid news syndrome" was leading to the erosion of journalism.
"The media in India terribly deviated from its aims and objectives. Trivialization of news is another shocking happening," Roy said at a seminar organised by the Tripura Journalists Union.
He said while it was a good thing that the Indian media had expanded, corporatisation of media houses was a worrying factor.
"Before the last Lok Sabha polls in 2009, many newspapers got mixed up in the paid news syndrome. Media should look into the problems and miseries of people, specially the downtrodden masses," the PCI chief said.
He said that legally media was not a people's representative under the People's Representation Act, but ethically and in reality media was the people's ambassador.
Urging journalists to publish newspapers for the sole interest of the people, Roy, a former Supreme Court judge, said: "Cross-media ownership should not be allowed in India like in the USA. To monopolise everything, a financially-powered print media house is now running electronic media too."
"Some media houses becoming brand ambassador of a particular corporate house or a certain political party - this is very dangerous for the democracy and people in general," he said.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, senior PCI member S N Sinha, senior journalists Sekhar Datta and Jayanta Bhattacharya were also present at the seminar.
"Media in India is increasingly forgetting and overlooking its social responsibility. The politician, corporate and bureaucrat combination is trying to control the government, country and the people with their narrow interest," Sarkar said.