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Press Council to discuss 'paid news' report

Source: PTI
April 24, 2010 23:16 IST
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The Press Council of India will discuss its sub-committee report on 'paid news' scandal on Sunday.

The 71-page report of the sub-committee of the Press Council confirms ands establishes the phenomenon of widespread practice of "paid news" and "vindicated by politicians and campaign managers of political parties".

The report notes that the pernicious practice of "paid news" has become widespread in both print and electronic, English and non-English languages all over the country.

The sub-committee recommends that the guidelines of the Press Council to the effect that news should be clearly demarcated from advertisements by printing disclaimers and reiterates that as far as news is concerned, it must always carry a credit line and should be set in a typeface that would distinguish it from advertisements.

It calls on media organisations to refrain from the practice of engaging stringers and correspondents who double up as agents collecting advertisements for their organizations.

The sub-committee recommends that the Election Commission of India should nominate independent journalists and/or public figures as observers in consultation with the Press Council of India who would accompany the election observers deputed by it.

If the trend of paid news in India is not reversed, the same would hold true for journalists and politicians as media houses without exception would soon become brothels wherein there would be fixed rates for every act.

The Council meeting will be presided over by its chairman, Justice G N Ray, former Chief Justice of Gujarat high court and former judge of Supreme Court.

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