SHIMLA: The members of Himachal Journalist Forum on Wednesday observed the National Press Day in Shimla and demanded the creation of a Media Council and to bring the entire media under its’ ambit. The Media Council should replace the existing Press Council of India and should act as a watchdog and oversee the working of the entire media.
The Journalists Forum also discussed the issues in the ongoing debate between the Press Council Chairman and the Editors’ Guild and some other media representatives. It has welcomed the views of Justice Markandey Katju on the issue of paid news but has termed some of his observations as unfortunate, where, while making such observations, he has chosen to paint the entire journalist fraternity with one brush, terming them to be ill informed and do not have “much knowledge of economic theory or political science or literature or philosophy”.
The proposed Media Council, which would replace the current Press Council should be more broad-based and democratic both in the manner of election of its nominees, its mandate and functioning. It should act as watchdogs over the entire media as also look into and uphold the interests of the journalists and workers employed in the media.
The HJF also reiterates its demand for a Media Commission to look into the entire gamut of issues affecting the Indian media in the context of the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the government of India and the increasing monopolization of the media. Such a Media Commission should be in the lines of the First and Second Press Commission but with wider representation given to the all spectrum media, civil society and experts.