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Media firms write to PM on Press Council of India issue

They have said the PM should instruct the information and broadcasting minister to include representatives of journalists unions /associations in the Central Press Accreditation Committee.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2018 23:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Media firms,Prime Minister Narendra Modi,Press Council of India issue
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Eight organisations representing editors, working journalists and owners of media companies have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in deferring a meeting of the truncated Press Council of India (PCI) on Wednesday.

The letter said names of representatives of print media organisations to the 28-member board of PCI are yet to be notified.

They have also said the PM should instruct the information and broadcasting minister to “include representatives of journalists unions /associations in the Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC)” , and claim this hasn’t been done , in clear violation of the guidelines.”

The PCI is a statutory, quasi-judicial body that addresses grievances about print media.

“The procedure adopted for reconstituting the 13th PCI and the Central Press Accreditation Committee was arbitrary, which if not reversed, would greatly impact media freedom and access to information, critical to democracy. In both cases, the outgoing chairman of the PCI and the information and broadcasting minister, have chosen to brazenly do away with tradition and interpret the rules and guidelines,” the letter says.

PCI chairperson Justice CK Prasad dismissed these allegations and said the meeting convened by him would be held on Wednesday. “Whether any business will be transacted will depend on the members,” he said.

Earlier, PCI put out a statement refuting allegations that the chairman had adopted a process to keep out certain media associations and candidates from the selection process while reconstituting the panel.

The eight organisations are: the Indian Newspaper Society, Indian Journalists Union, All India Newspaper Editors Conference, Working News Cameramen Association, National Union of Journalists (India), Hindi Samachar Patra Sammelan, All India Small and Medium Newspapers Federation, and Press Association.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 23:31 IST