Kerala: Panel pitches for media education

The media organisations should emphasise practising ethical journalism.

Thiruvananthapuram: The P. S. Antony commission has recommended continuing media education and a mandatory crash course for journalists.

The panel said the crash course should be made mandatory for renewal of accreditation of journalists. Special focus should be given to creating awareness about the pros and cons of social media. The media organisations should emphasise practising ethical journalism.

The panel recommended a comprehensive law on the lines of Communication Act 2003 which is currently in force in Britain which facilitates a regulatory body Office of Communication Broadcast Media.

It said considering the absence of a stringent and comprehensive law to regulate the electronic broadcast media, the state should urge the Centre to withdraw Indian Telegraph Act 1885, India Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933, the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 and the Telecom Regulatory Act 1997 to bring the new comprehensive law on British lines.

It recommended that for the time being the Central government should also be urged to transform Press Council as Media Council with powers to regulate the electronic media. Amendments would be required to be made in Press Council Act 1978. Justice Markandy Katju had given a similar proposal during his tenure as chairman of PCI.

The commission said while forwarding the report to I and B Ministry, chapter 19 which contains observations on media and journalistic ethics should be specially brought to the Centre’s attention.

The panel recommended framing of a code of conduct for ministers for dealing with media persons and media.

"Broadcasting and other like forms of communication" has been included as item number 31 of Union List 1. Therefore the Kerala Assembly should pass a resolution recommending the Centre to frame a law for regulating the private electronic broadcast media.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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