Criticising the media coverage of social activist Anna Hazare’s agitation, Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Markandey Katju on Sunday said many journalists were swayed by emotion and became “part of the movement,” instead of reporting objectively.

Speaking at a seminar here on “Anna Hazare’s movement and media,” Mr. Katju said a large section of the print and electronic media was swayed by emotions and acted irresponsibly.

The PCI chief recalled that during the Babri Masjid controversy also, some journalists of the Hindi press acted like ‘kar sevaks’ themselves, instead of reporting the events objectively. Mr. Katju also criticised Team Anna’s plan to contest elections, saying it was beset with contradictions.

The PCI Chairman said he had read Team Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill, and added that if it became a reality, the incidence of corruption would double. If the Jan Lokpal Bill was passed, about 2.50 crore employees, now covered by the Prevention of Corruption Act, would come under the Lokpal and there would be lakhs of complaints against them, some genuine and some false. A large number of ombudsmen (Lokpals) would be needed to look into these complaints, entailing a huge expenditure, he said. Besides, there would be a possibility of many of these Lokpals turning into blackmailers, he said .

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