Shimla journalists for new media council

Shimla: Faced with a crisis of credibility, members of Himachal Journalists Forum (HJF) on the occasion of National Press Day, today demanded creation of a media council and brining the entire media under its ambit.

“A Media Council with wider powers should replace the existing Press Council of India and act as a watchdog and oversee the working of the entire media,” says Kanwar Yogendra, president of HJF.

The forum also discussed issues being debated between the Press Council Chairman, Editors’ Guild and other media representatives.

Supporting the views of Justice Markandey Katju about paid news, however the forum termed some of the former judge’s observations as ‘unfortunate.’

“Retired Justice Markanday Katju choosing to paint the entire journalist fraternity with one brush, terming them as ill informed, those who do not have ‘much knowledge of economic theory or political science or literature or philosophy’ is unfortunate,” said Kanwar.

The forum had demanded that the proposed Media Council should replace the current Press Council and be a more broad-based and democratic institution, in terms of electing its nominees, its mandate as well as functioning.

A media council while acting as a watchdog should also uphold interests of journalists, he added.

The HJF has also reiterated a demand for a Media Commission to look into the entire gamut of issues affecting the Indian media.

Such a Media Commission should be in the lines of the First and Second Press Commission but with wider representation given to media, civil society and experts, said Kanwar.

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