‘Form a media council’: Parliamentary committee led by Tharoor tells government | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Form a media council’: Parliamentary committee led by Tharoor tells government

ByMalavika Murali
Dec 02, 2021 10:03 AM IST

The Parl panel has recommended the proposed commission should include experts for wider consultations among interested groups and stakeholders to evolve a consensus in this regard

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology, led by Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor, has recommended the establishment of a media commission to address issues facing the media industry.

A file photo of Shashi Tharoor in Jaipur, Rajasthan. (HT file photo)
A file photo of Shashi Tharoor in Jaipur, Rajasthan. (HT file photo)

The panel has recommended the commission should include experts for wider consultations among the interested groups and stakeholders to evolve a consensus in this regard.

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In its report titled “Ethical Standards in Media Coverage”, the panel asked the government to “bestow utmost importance to the freedom and independence of media so that they cover news as impartially as possible without fear and favour”.

“It is also incumbent upon the government to ensure the necessary legal and social framework which may encourage the media to respect and follow established values of their profession.”

The panel recommended the setting up of a media council with statutory powers over print, television and digital media platforms. It said the current regulatory bodies such as the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) are not as effective, and that their “efficacy is limited”. The panel said the NBSA, a self-regulatory body, “depends on voluntary compliance with its orders”.

The panel reiterated the Press Council of India’s suggestion to bring e-newspapers, news portals, social media, and other platforms under regulatory control. It also referred to a discussion over an umbrella statute for the entire broadcasting sector covering print, electronic and online media.

The panel expressed concern over the circulation of widespread fake news on social media and digital news platforms. It appreciated the establishment of Fact Check Units at 17 regional offices of Press Information Bureau. The panel asked the government to open more such offices. It called for a need to broadly define the term “fake news”.

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