“If the media puts forward both sides of a story, there is no issue, but sometimes you see only one side as if there is an agenda to finish someone.’’
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan minced no words when he pointed out at a felicitation function at the state secretariat on Saturday that trial by media existed and this was worrisome.
With many heads rolling in the follow-up to the Adarsh society scam, former chief minister Ashok Chavan had claimed that he lost his job due to public perception created by the media.
The chief minister also pointed out a code of conduct was desirable for media especially in lieu of how much advertising space was permissible, how many ad breaks were allowed in a news bulletin.
When asked about the pending legislation to protect journalists against attacks, Chavan said that he would deliberate on the need for such a law and take up the issue with the Information and Broadcasting ministry instead of making it a state-level legislation.
However, he pointed out, “Such a law would also look into the need for a code of conduct for the media in terms of laying down certain parameters on advertising space and ads in media.’’
Chavan was speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Mantralaya Wartahar Sangh in the state secretariat on Saturday.
He also made a reference to the Niira Radia tapes saying they had brought under the scanner the role played by journalists and perhaps this was time for introspection for all.
Referring to the sudden spate of scams coming to light in the public domain, Chavan said that much of the credit for this goes to the Right to Information Act, 2005 that was pushed by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi despite opposition from the bureaucracy.
He added that another such legislation that would bring greater transparency in governance would be the Whistle Blowers Act that he had pushed for and would protect the identity of whistleblowers across the government, public sector companies and expose corruption. He said there would also be a national-level consensus on the need for implementing fast-track courts to deal with corruption cases.