Law minister pitches for media self-regulation

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 28, 2014 00:48 IST

Self regulation is the best way to go forward for media, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday while stressing that such freedom must come with greater responsibility.

“As far as the legal architecture is concerned, as far as my view is concerned, I am very clear. Self regulation should be the mode. When I say self regulation, it is not an off-the-cuff remark. It carries a lot of responsibility, it carries a lot of meaning,” he said.

Inaugurating national consultation on Media Law organised jointly by the Law Commission and the National Law University, Delhi, the minister expressed concern over issues such as fake sting operations, paid news, and trial by media. He also said that as the communication and information technology minister he is against excessive use of provisions in the IT Act to curb the freedom of social media. Prasad said for the government, the independence of media is “non-negotiable” and those in the political class should realise that media has a right to criticise, condemn and even advice.

Also speaking on the occasion, Law Commission Chairman Justice (Retd) AP Shah said media has played a key role in uncovering the truth and giving people a voice. “Freedom of press lies at the fundamental of democracy. A free media enable critical scrutiny, uncover truth, and generate public opinion,” Justice Shah said.

Former Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran, who heads the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), said the debate should be on the extent and manner in which media should be regulated.

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