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Home / India News / Don’t conduct parallel trial, PCI tells media outlets

Don’t conduct parallel trial, PCI tells media outlets

The media, the council said, should not narrate the story in a manner so as to induce the general public to believe in the complicity of the person indicted.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2020, 06:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mumbai: Media persons gather outside the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) office, in Mumbai.
Mumbai: Media persons gather outside the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) office, in Mumbai.(PTI)

The Press Council of India (PCI) expressed displeasure at the manner in which several media organisations have covered the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and advised them to follow the norms.

In a statement issued on Friday, the PCI said that it had noted with “distress that coverage of the alleged suicide by a film actor by many media outlets is in violation of the Norms of Journalistic Conduct and, therefore, advises the Media to adhere to the Norms framed by the Press Council of India”.

The media, the council said, should not narrate the story in a manner so as to induce the general public to believe in the complicity of the person indicted.

“Publishing information based on gossip about the line of investigation by the official agencies on the crime committed is not desirable. It is not advisable to vigorously report crime related issues on a day to day basis and comment on the evidence without ascertaining the factual matrix. Such reporting brings undue pressure in the course of fair investigation and trial,” the PCI said.

The death of the actor, who starred in films like Kai Po Che and the MS Dhoni biopic, has received wide coverage, especially in the electronic media.

“The media is advised to refrain from giving excessive publicity to the victim, witnesses, suspects and accused as it will amount to invasion of their privacy rights. Identification of witnesses by the Media needs to be avoided as it endangers them to come under pressure from the accused or his associates as well as investigating agencies,” the PCI said.

The media is advised not to conduct its own parallel trial or foretell the decision to avoid pressure during investigation and trial, it added.

“Further, the reporting of the alleged suicide by the actor by some of the newspapers is also in violation of the norms formulated by the Council for reporting on suicide. The norm prohibits publishing stories about suicide prominently and advises the media not to unduly repeat such stories. The media is expected not to use language which sensationalise or normalises suicides or presents it as a constructive solution to the problems,” the council said in the statement.

The media is advised not to use sensational headlines or use photographs, video-footage or social media links while reporting on suicide cases, it added.

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