Press Council of India chairman Justice G.N. Ray on Monday advised journalists not to transgress a limit while reporting the preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
Answering a question on this issue while addressing a press meet, Mr. Ray said: “Report some positives. Exercise some restraint.” Even as he admitted that work had picked up after the reportage, he said that there should be a limit, beyond which one should not step.
Pointing out that the PCI has become a “toothless body,” Justice Ray said the amendment to the Act that would give some power to the quasi-judicial body was pending. He said complaints against newspapers were rising and they had lost their relevance to a large extent. “Controlling aberrations of the media was proving to be a challenge,” he said. The functioning of the media had undergone a sea-change, with the corporatisation of the media. He said that it was not the purpose of the PCI to become a penal body, but it should have some powers to enforce its orders. “If orders are not enforced what is the purpose,” he asked, adding that the Council had neither the infrastructure nor the manpower.
On the issue of paid news, he said the PCI had sent its recommendations on this matter and it was now up to Parliament to delib0erate on it and take action.
On bringing ‘other media,' including electronic, under some regulation, he said an amendment was needed to bring them within the PCI, which would also necessitate a change in the name of the PCI which was set up in 1966 on the recommendations of the First Press Commission. Noting that with the visual impact, electronic media did have an influence, Mr. Ray felt that there was as much a need to set up a regulatory body as there was scope for introspection.