Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has convened a meeting of State information ministers to work out a formula for self regulation of the media in Delhi on December 5.

Reacting to the recommendation of the Liberhan Commission calling for a regulator body for the media, Ms. Soni said that she favoured self regulation and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too was for a media free from any kind of control as enshrined in the Constitution.

She pointed out that a task force comprising of representatives of the Editors Guild of India, broadcasters, and the Secretary and Additional Secretary of her ministry were currently eliciting opinions of NGOs and civil society to arrive at a decision.

Ms. Soni regretted that the issue of setting up of regulator body has been hanging fire for well over 12 years with two bills falling through due to dissolution of the Lok Sabha, during which period various formations were in power at the Centre.

On polls

On the Assembly elections in Jharkhand, Ms. Soni said that it was the Congress aiming to secure a full majority along with its ally the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and declined to entertain questions relating to the post-election possibilities.

When specifically asked if the Congress would have no truck with the likes of the former chief minister Madhu Koda, now under scrutiny of the Income-Tax Department, Ms. Soni said that none was corrupt till proven by the law and all had to be considered innocent till then.


Politics and the Praetorian GuardNovember 7, 2009

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