Media and media persons were severely criticised in the Lok Sabha on issues such as paid news, extortion case registered against Zee TV editors, “failure” of the self-regulatory mechanism of cable TV channels and the role of the Press Council of India (PCI).

Raising a supplementary during question hour on Tuesday, Chaudhry Lal Singh (Congress) charged that some media persons think they were above everyone.

Referring to the Zee TV case, he sought to know why the licence of the channel not be cancelled.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said most of the time the TV channels were beaming only news about actors and cine personalities, and their ugly dances. Mr. Yadav wanted the PCI to take the entire media to task.

Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM), who raised the main question on regulating the contents of cable TV networks, accused the media of indulging in “unfair and vendetta” reporting. Quoting PCI Chairman Justice Markendey Katju, Mr. Owaisi said self-regulation was no regulation. He pointed out that 126 cases of paid news had been reported in the Gujarat elections.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari said that after consultations, it was felt that a self-regulating mechanism was the best. An inter-ministerial meeting would be held on Wednesday in this regard.

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