A free press is the cornerstone of democracy, Information and Audiovisual Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.
Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Press Council of India (PCI) on “Role of the media during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the media” on National Press Day, the minister said freedom comes with responsibilities and called on news organizations to avoid sensualism.
“Freedom of the press is the soul of democracy. Freedom of the press is very important, but with all freedom comes responsibility. So there must be responsible freedom and no sensationalism on the part of the press, ”the minister said in the video message.
“The news should not be about deliberately defaming anyone. The way press freedom is under attack these days is not good,” he said.
Speaking about the alleged manipulation of television rating points (TRP) by some news channels, the minister said a committee formed by the ministry would soon submit its report on the matter.
“To verify the handling of the TRP and fix the problem, we have formed a committee that will report back very soon,” he said.
Mr Javadekar also addressed the issue of the lack of a regulatory body for TV channels and said a decision could be taken to bring them a code of conduct.
“The Press Council of India is a self-regulatory body which has representations from various press houses as well as from the Parliament. There have been discussions on giving more power to the PCI,” he said. he said.
“But for TV channels there is no self-regulatory body like PCI. We are receiving suggestions to develop a code of conduct for all TV channels but we have not yet made a decision on this subject, “said the minister, adding that the government does not want to intervene, but” the press must present responsible journalism “.
Mr Javadekar further stated, like television, that there is no regulator for over-the-top (OTT) platforms and that the government is receiving suggestions on how to regulate its content.
OTT platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar and others have recently come under the umbrella of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
“There is no PCI or any other body for OTT platforms that have very good content as well as very bad content. So something needs to be done about it,” he said. .
“Discussions are ongoing and we are receiving suggestions from many people on what should be done to regulate content on OTT platforms,” he said.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)