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Updated: May 23, 2012 10:34 IST

Media cannot reject regulation

Markandey Katju
Comment (83)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

If red lines can be drawn for the legal and medical professions, why should it be any different for profit-making newspapers and TV channels?

I have not read the Private Member's Bill on media regulation that Meenakshi Natarajan was scheduled to move in Parliament last week so I am not in a position to comment upon it, but I am certainly of the opinion that the media (both print and electronic) needs to be regulated. Since my ideas on this issue have generated some controversy they need to be clarified.

I want regulation of the media, not control. The difference between the two is that in control there is no freedom, in regulation there is freedom but subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest. The media has become very powerful in India and can strongly impact people's lives. Hence it must be regulated in the public interest.

The media people keep harping on Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution which guarantees the freedom of speech and expression. But they deliberately overlook or underplay Article 19 (2) which says that the above right is subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, State security, public order, decency, morality or in relation to defamation or incitement to an offence.

Not absolute

Thus, while there should be freedom for the media and not control over it, this freedom must be exercised in a manner not to adversely affect the security of the state, public order, morality, etc. No right can be absolute, every right is subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest. The reason for this is that human beings are social creatures. No one can live in isolation, everyone has to live in society. And so an individual should not exercise her freedom in a manner so as to harm others or society, otherwise she will find it difficult to survive.

Media people often talk of self-regulation. But media houses are owned by businessmen who want profit. There is nothing wrong in making profits, but this must be coupled with social responsibilities. Media owners cannot say that they should be allowed to make profits even if the rest of society suffers. Such an attitude is self-destructive, and it is the media owners who will suffer in the long run if they do not correct themselves now. The way much of the media has been behaving is often irresponsible, reckless and callous. Yellow journalism, cheap sensationalism, highlighting frivolous issues (like lives of film stars and cricketers) and superstitions and damaging people and reputations, while neglecting or underplaying serious socio-economic issues like massive poverty, unemployment, malnourishment, farmers' suicides, health care, education, dowry deaths, female foeticide, etc., are hallmarks of much of the media today. Astrology, cricket (the opium of the Indian masses), babas befooling the public, etc., are a common sight on Television channels.

Paid ‘news' is the order of the day in some newspapers and channels where you have to pay to be in the news. One senior political leader told me things are so bad that politicians in some places pay money to journalists who attend their press conferences, and sometimes even to those who do not, to ensure favourable coverage. One TV channel owner told me that the latest Baba (who is dominating the scene nowadays) pays a huge amount for showing his meetings on TV. Madhu Kishwar, a very senior journalist herself, said on Rajya Sabha TV that many journalists are bribable and manipulable.

The media claims self-regulation. But by what logic? How can the News Broadcasters Association or the Broadcast Editors Association regulate TV channels driven by profit motive and high TRP ratings? Almost every section of society is regulated. Lawyers are a free profession, but their profession is regulated inasmuch as their licence can be suspended or cancelled by the Bar Council for professional misconduct. Similarly the licences of doctors, chartered accountants, etc., can be suspended/cancelled by their regulatory bodies. Judges of the Supreme Court or the High Court can be impeached by Parliament for misconduct. But the media claims that no action should be taken against it for violating journalistic ethics. Why? In a democracy everyone has to be accountable, but the media claims it should be accountable only to itself ...The NBA and BEA claim self-regulation. Let me ask them: how many licences of TV channels have you suspended or cancelled till now? So far as we know, only one channel was awarded a fine, at which it withdrew from the body, and then was asked to come back. How many other punishments have you imposed? Let us have some details, instead of keeping everything secret. Let the meetings of the NBA and BEA be televised so as to ensure transparency and accountability (which Justice Verma has been advocating vociferously for the judiciary).

Let me quote from an article by Abhishek Upadhyaya, Editor, Special Projects, Dainik Bhaskar:

“It appears that the BEA was founded to collectively use intimidatory tactics in favour of a select few players after NBA failed to do so. The NBA is so weak, so feeble in its exercise of power that it can't confront intimidation by its own members. The India TV case is an example of this. The NBA, in the past, had given notice to India TV for deceptively recreating a US-based policy analyst's interview. It slapped a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on the channel which then walked out of the Association.

“The group of broadcasters found themselves completely helpless, couldn't take any action and finally surrendered meekly before the channel. The offending channel issued a statement saying that its return has come after “fundamental issues raised by the channel against the disregard to NBA's rules and guidelines were appreciated by the association's directors…” The head of India TV, Rajat Sharma, then proceeded to join the board of NBA, and the channel's managing editor, Vinod Kapri, returned to the Authority in the eminent editors' panel!

“This was the turning point in the so-called self-regulation mechanism of electronic media. It became clear that all concerned had made an unwritten, oral understanding not to raise a finger on their own brethren in future. BEA was the next step in this direction, formed on 22 August, 2009 with a few electronic media editors in the driving seat. Since its inception this body has been irrationally screaming in the interest of a select few. The editors of this body announced some tender sops from time to time to publicise its good image and thwart any regulatory attempt in advance”.

Self-regulation

If the broadcast media claims self-regulation, then on the same logic everyone should be allowed self-regulation. Why then have laws at all, why have a law against theft, rape or murder? Why not abolish the Indian Penal Code and ask everyone to practise self-regulation? The very fact that there are laws proves that self-regulation is not sufficient, there must also be some external regulation and fear of punishment.

I may clarify here that I am not in favour of regulation of the media by the government but by an independent statutory authority like the Press Council of India. The Chairman of this body is not selected by the government but by a three-member selection committee consisting of (1) The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (who is the Vice-President of India) (2) The Speaker of the Lok Sabha and (3) One representative of the Press Council.

The Press Council has 28 members, of which 20 are from the Press, five members of Parliament, and 3 from other bodies (The Bar Council of India, UGC and Sahitya Academy). The decisions of the Press Council are taken by a majority vote. Therefore, I am not a dictator who can ride roughshod on the views of others. Several of my proposals were rejected by the majority, and I respected their verdict. If the electronic media also comes under the Press Council (which can be renamed the Media Council), representatives of the electronic media will also be on this body, which will be totally democratic. Why then are the electronic media people so furiously and fiercely opposing my proposal? Obviously because they want a free ride in India without any kind of regulation and freedom to do what they will. I would welcome a healthy debate on this issue.

(The author is chairman of the Press Council of India.)

More In: Lead | Opinion

Hats off to Justice Katju as PCI chairman for his views on press freedom in the Hindu! Why only press should be left for not self-regulations or other regulations for disciplining? He has rightly pointed out that there must not be ristriction but why not regulations for mediapersons?But there is million dollar question-these days it is not freedom of press for writers and journalists-it has become a trade and owners of the press and channels decide the so called freedom of press-under such ticklish situation, the matter could be given serious thoughts about freedom of press or expression! Press freedom, guaranteed under Constitution is under19-1(A) but in the second 19(2), there are ristrictions also in the interest of India.Justice Katju has made out some way outs -but he must take up the issue with government and opposition to bring out common regulations for mediapersons not owners of newspapers, magazines and electronic channels!
my blog www.kksingh1.blogspot.com

from:  krishnkumar singh
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 18:12 IST

I am sending a comment for the second time. I feel happy inside for this article, once again, after reading another respondent's comment, that of Mr. Parthiban T R. I had felt that Mr. Katju was right on why media needs self-regulation and that right thinking citizens would definitely respond. This detailed comment by the person mentioned above shows how much he cares for the society as well and how much impact the article has had. I see many such like minded and right-thinking people. Self-regulation is not at all possible in India. The entire country may insist on youth. But, in the process, wrong people are chosen, and the cultural values, morals and ethics are eroded. It is purely because of how they are made to think by the media. It is high time those in Authority use iron hand in dealing with such situations. It is already late but better late than never. Private FM radio stations, TV and some newspapers combine in taking India into the Water Closet! MAY GOD SAVE INDIA!!

from:  B.Sriraghavan
Posted on: May 9, 2012 at 15:46 IST

Very well said by Justice M. Katju about the media regulation. Practicing Self-regulation can be easy for a particular one, but its not the same for media channels. The regulation should me monitored by a governing body which should maintain democracy in its formation.
The thought of profit making often overrides self-control. If one is not able to practice this by itself, there should be a regulatory body to impose it.

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: May 8, 2012 at 22:42 IST

I am 40years old and I respect and regard the valuable views of Shri.Markandey Katju on media regulation, The Hindu-Wednesday, May 2, 2012. And why I should not? I’m stressing on my respect for elderly seasoned people like Shri.Katju. Otherwise, in India thoughts given by wisely, elderly, experienced people is also discarded, neglected and ignored. This is what the newspapers and electronic media project. Except a few national issues, all other issues like dowry deaths, live-in relationships, marriage act amendment, women’s bill, honour-killings, gay-rights, pornography, domestic violence, child-abuse, CSA/ISA, reservation for backward classes, religious issues, university rules, NGO issues etc are being dominated by young people and their thoughts exchange, may it be writing about it or presenting a show on television, everything is being done by the young entrepreneurs and executives. Most of the businessmen in India who are making quick are young, in the age group of 25-40yrs. If any weak body left in the age group 40-55yrs just follow the footsteps of the young dominating the scene. These young entrepreneurs are self-motivated for money and are least bothered about the jargon thoughts like “impact of media on society”. They are all exploiting the unexploited, innocent people showing/giving them something they are unaware of. What differs is the association which can categorized on the basis of language, income group, dwelling location, and education. Wise people have self regulations but what about all others who are in the majority? Even if they have self-regulations, they are easily tampered with by the media. For example, small children are not allowed to see some channels by their parents. But if the parents have subscribed to a local newspaper, the children can easily access the condom/sex-power kicking oil/panties/bra/boosting boob-size/hotlines… advertisements with half explanatory pictures, and the collage of film promotion cards boasting almost full nude men and women… enough to stir up their brains(“a picture is worth a thousand words”). The impact, we all know what.
The media is befooling people by saying “it exercises self-regulation”. I used to comment on certain issues on the e-paper of The Times of India. Initially, I felt my thoughts are being valued and a healthy discussion is building up. But gradually I understood through my then on experiences – that Times of India has hired some young men and probably women too, whose task is to sit on the site, kick-start a discussion, read comments and react on any issue. Just to exploit a bothered genuine reader on some issue, this bunch of men and women throw some statements which are either unusual remarks or most of the times something offensive. Naturally a momentarily narrow thinking genuine reader feels like defending and thus the discussion continues. This way the clicks continue, and the rating goes up. In the forum, majority of the people discussing topics are fake and are in majority and also they are all young. In the process I felt emotionally and intellectually ruined and said to myself “there are no values for the thoughts and ideas and suggestions given by ordinary people in the democratic country called India”. Are they worth a dustbin? No. I stopped commenting but sometimes I read TOI. It’s all a matter of belief and not the regard of our thoughts.
Except wise men and women, who else has self-regulation? Is a common man regulating himself? Is he saying to himself – I should not buy cigarettes; I must buy proper bus/train ticket if I’m using a bus/train to travel; I must flush the public toilet after I use it and close the door; I must fight back if my telecom service provider deducts amount from my account for “not selling” something to me… All these newspapers walas and TV walas are from amongst us. How can they be self-regulating? Self-regulation is all a myth. All these people should know, up to what extent they can indulge in somebody’s lives/minds and affect their future. They have already damaged a huge number of the otherwise innocent people of villages and towns in India. I have had some heart-aching experiences at Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh while I was teaching in an engineering college.
I support Mr.Markandey Katju’s ideas and echo with his thoughts, and I extent my vote in favour of the formation of Media Council of India which must actively participate in regulating the print and electronic media in India.

from:  Parthiban T R
Posted on: May 4, 2012 at 15:13 IST

I fully advocate and appreciate views expressed by Mr.Katju. Rupert murdoch has stake in an indian news channel and incidents like that of UK can happen here also. Recently reliance has bought shares in a company that is consortium of 27 news channel.They can use media to have a public opinion in their favour and hide scams done by them(KG-D6).Paid news scandal of 2009 general elections has raised many eyebrows(which has snubbed by most of news channels and newspapers).Also the role of 'leading' TV reporters in 2G scam is well known.Our corporate media has commodified news so there is dire need to regulate media.Also as explained by him there is need for regulation not control

from:  jashan
Posted on: May 4, 2012 at 08:09 IST

I felt obliged to justice Katju for his plea for regulation of
the media.This is essential in the context of proliferating
'paid news'. The impact of the media on the minds of
those who avail themselves of them is formidable.Sayings
like " what goes in,comes out","As a man thinketh,so is
he" emphasize the need for serious thinking.The role of
the media in purveying material for thinking is obvious.
All of the materials may not be flawless.Hence the need
for regulation.Efficiency of the regulation is proportional
to the efficiency of the regulating body.While absolute
freedom is utopian,the media themselves should,in
appreciation of this, come forward to be regulated by a
body of their choice.For stating the obvious justice Katju
should have been spared from ad hominem comments by
vigilant editing.

from:  G.Rajaram.
Posted on: May 4, 2012 at 03:16 IST

The plea of the learned author for regulation of media
needs serious consideration and not ad hominem
comments.The media strive by catering to the minds of
the public.It causes thinking."As a man thinketh, so is he"
says the Bible.Does this not underscore the heavy
responsibility of those who cause thinking.India seriously
needs to shape the thinking and attitude of its citizen to
emerge a great power.The media has a great role to play
in this regard.Hence the anxiety of Mr Katju who should
be thanked for mooting points though unpalatable but
inevitable in the interest of this nation.

from:  G.Rajaram.
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 21:30 IST

First of all publication of this article in media itself is a welcome sign. Media in particular print media must be regulated more than electronic media like TV Channels. Why because is many times the E-Media would telecast the news one time and not the other, but in print media once it is printed that would be sefely guarded and make use of other time. Using the good printed matter for good thing is very much lower than the usage of bad matters for the bad things.

from:  sidhiq
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 19:54 IST

Justice Katju asks why the media alone must be exempt from the regulations that applies to
every other sphere of human endeavour, and this requires a serious answer from the media.
Firstly, I do think that the freedom of expression and by extension, the freedom of the press
is a special enough right in order to be treated differently because press has the important
duty to speak truth to power and therefore cannot be influenced or regulated by that power.
Secondly, Katju himself goes on to say that the media is indeed regulated by the same limits
to freedom of expression which the Constitution has set for free speech. So what Katju wants
is, in fact, MORE regulation, and I am not convinced that's a good thing. I would much rather
live with a free but sometimes irresponsible media ,than with a responsible but sterile and
scared media. I hope that The Hindu editors can publish a good rebuttal to Justice Katju's
ideas to inform people what's at stake here.

from:  Raamganesh
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 17:45 IST

Is the media merely to entertain and beguile? But it is claimed that the media is also a vehicle of education. If that is the case then the media cannot be allowed to disseminate anything that undermines peace and harmony. If I run a private educational institute, say a school, the books I teach must be got approved by the Board. I cannot teach things which directly or subtly demonize a group of citizens or create disaffection among any group or community. No matter my school is private and receives no aid from the government. The media is capable of molding citizens' thinking and behavior. Therefore it is necessary to ensure that it does not mold the wrong way.

from:  Zakeria Shirazi
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 17:38 IST

I agree that, time has changed since independence, and if even MPs are
asking questions and get money bags in their homes, then why we have
to blindside by the paid journalism.

These days, it is pure rubbish which comes in our newspapers, news
channels, someone has to regulate on the content, advt. space, etc..

I heard somewhere that if you dont pay you become commodity; that is
the reason why our News websites are so full of crap, our channel
shows advt. and in between some content.

Please regulate these contents.

from:  Yogesh
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 17:31 IST

I submit that regulation is meaningful only to the extent of
preventing the media from lying, or knowingly besmirching somebody's
reputation without any justification. Other than that, nobody has any
business to tell the media what to do. Please don't bring in this
business of "don't harm society and its morals". Firstly, we all need
to develop a thicker skin. Secondly, everybody has a right to his or
her opinion, whether I or the society at large like it or not.
Thirdly, who are these superior beings who will decide what we should
hear and not hear? I for one am fed up being treated like an
immature child who can't be trusted to think rationally unless
prevented from hearing freely expressed news and views.

from:  Prasad Iyer
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 16:30 IST

I agree that Media needs to be regulated like any other Industry. but the argument of Justice Katju is lame when he says that it should be brought under press council of India. It is nothing but an vain attempt to enlarge his area of domain.

I feel post retirement appointment should be abolished. In a country where there is a massive unemployment, why should retired civil servants and judges be appointed in all regulatory bodies ? there are other competent people available. past background and credential is not a guarantee for future performance or incorruptibility in future. mr. katju should consider this argument and quit his position.

from:  N Swaminathan
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 15:35 IST

The articles and judgements of Sri M Katju sir reflects humanity, in the sense a little love towards other human beings. I appreciate Sri Katju for his brave straight forward and simple writing of truth. Every public activity should be having a meaningful purpose either to entertain or learn or earn or educate or inform or improve or maintain ...etc...without hurting sentiments or health of others. Print media is wasting tons of paper for trivial advertisements and gossip articles. Self control by the most cruel beings on earth - humans - just impossible. Evrybody knows of poverty and injustice breeds terrorism as told by Parves Musharuff. But our never ending "greed" will destroy everything.Freedom of expression - who is free? what about the crores who has no means to even express? Like any other corporate house media also want make money without any concern for its duty in a social set up. Sir has said rightly that if all are self controlled police and courts can be wound up.

from:  PV Parameswaran
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 15:18 IST

Why do we need moderation for Good Comments.?

from:  Naren
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 14:20 IST

kudos to katju for highlighting the pertinent issues with electronic
media. He was made a very cogent argument and and exposed the
preposterous claims made by media fraternity. This is another pearl of
wisdom from him(though i don't quite agree with his views on lokpal bill
and want him to elucidate his views on it).

from:  vivek
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 13:15 IST

an unregulated media ia the new cancer for india.

from:  selwyn
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 13:10 IST

The right conferred in the Article 19 (1)(a)is for the individuals not to an organisation or a group of individuals. Hence the right derived by the media houses under the Article 19 (1)(a) is derivative in nature, so such right, first of all, cannot be considered absolute.

Being an organisation, the media houses have necessarily to bear the organisational limitations. It cannot shy away from such liabilities. To fathom over such limitations some external structural surveillance would be needed. Further none should demand for the unrestricted liberty in democratic setup. In this context Mr. Katju is quite to the point in asking for external regulation of media through a body, which has a mixed character.

from:  Murari Mishra
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 13:07 IST

I still remember the unsympethatic manner in which some of the news
channels had covered the Arushi and Hemraj murder case back in 2008;
passing judgement. Animating different scenarios right from Aryushi
having a relationship with Hemraj, to a theory that the servant killed
the Innocent girl. The latter theory only changed after Hemraj's dead
body was found the next day. Justice Katju has rightly pointed that
there needs to be freedom with a bit of regulation. Right to freedom
of expression does't mean that one can run naked on the streets and
the authorities do nothing about it. And if we can have it in the
manner as suggested by our first commenter "Mr. Sakal"; let those interested watch and enjoy the sight, others can close there eyes.After all he thinks news is a consumer good :)I have seen the TV truly become an Idiot box, with mega band width of nonsense, unreliable, and corrupt information being fed to the society.

from:  Karan Rai
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 12:43 IST

That was the best article I had read in a long time. Such straightforward articles are a rarity in today's newspapers. Those who comment against this probably do not know who Mr.Katju is or why this article had come in the first place. It could not have come at a better time. We sadly live in a period when all the bad or negative acts are deemed to be "good" or "justified" by those who think that this is a time when anything goes. Self-regulation will not work in today's India, media and road traffic being the best cases. I think that the Union Govt. should not have let the situation worsen. Actions should have been taken much earlier. Now, when the truth and the TRUE picture is described by the writer, some respondents raise a hue and cry. They think that any "correction measures" done by the people in authority (like the Police) or those in hot seat like Katju MUST be questioned. Whatever we are concerned about are perfectly mentioned in the article.

from:  B.Sriraghavan
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 11:23 IST

"The media has become very powerful in India and can strongly impact
people's lives. Hence it must be regulated in the public interest."
The Quote by the implies that anything which become powerful and can
impact peoples life need to be regulated, this is the base logic for
the regulation and is propounded by a retired Supreme Court Judge. Why
then there is no regulations on Politicians and most undemocratic
political party which govern the country. I my view the conduct of
Politician and Political Party has more to do with the good and bad
for public good. I Have not found any thing or any regulation proposed
by the learned judge in this regard. Let us start the cleaning process
from the cause which hurt people more like politics, police and
administration. I don't find any fruitful discussion in this regard by
so call opinion maker.

from:  Rajiv Srivastava
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 10:43 IST

The author has made a good point about profit making newspapers and
newschannels and yes they shuld be no different then other
business.But for me freedom is same for all and no double standards.All personal,social and economic freedoms are same.The marriage between two persons is their freedom and the govt should stay out of the marriage in a similar way freedom of speech should not be interfered by the govt there should be no prior constraint on what the media does.But also there should no prior constraints on industries
which leads to higher costs, productivity losses and unemployment.Obviously we have property laws in our country and you should not dump garbage in your neighbor's yard,but the environmental ministry with its licence program gives free hands to mining companies.They can pollute the air when the tribal show up at the court for violation of their breathing air. The mining company will show the licence from environmental ministry.So regulation doesn't work.

from:  Satish
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 09:31 IST

If the author thinks that media is doing wrong he can express his own
alternate views of issues of interest to him to the people through
whatever communication media he can access.But to regulate media and
tell them what to do and what not to do, is not a good idea.History has
thought us to embrace alternate views and the current media should also
be embraced.But don't regulate them instead i shall say give them more
freedom.

from:  Satish
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 09:15 IST

The author has a good intention of having a good quality media in this
country,but that won't come from regulation.The author's thinking in
pretty much similar to the thinking of the politburo in soviet
union.The politburo thought that the people of Russia are so dumb they
the politburo needed to assume power and direct the people what to and
what not to do.We can all see the result of such policy.Yes mistakes
do happen but we should led them make those mistakes,make them pay for
those mistakes and learn from it.If they don't make mistakes how would
they ever learn. But i want to question the author what if he was
wrong and the media is right and who is going to decide what is
right(politicians and bureaucrats).I would always prefer more freedom
then any less.We should always embrace freedom and let others express
their views.Freedom is not only for but also letting others to enjoy
it and not condemning them for doing wrong unless of course if there
is physical aggression or threat.

from:  Satish
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 09:05 IST

Justice Katju is probably one of the very few who has a vision as to what would happen to the LEVIATHN media of today if its not put on a leash. People could go on arguing about the freedom of the press and freedom of expression that is at stake if the media is regulated. But it is worthwhile to take note of the emphasis justice katju places on regulation and not control. The media today has become a draconian force that holds irrational media trials, shows no respect to the dignity of the highest court and has the least of regard for the ruined reputation of good citizens in the event of a false accusation.
"it takes a man 30 years to build a good reputation but the media - 30 seconds to destroy it" lack of regulation and a free hand to journalists to publish their vagaries cannot continue if we are to have a realistic media that aims to achieve what all mediahouses proclaim-DEMOCRACY. lets hope Justice Katju's reiteration on this issue fruitions.

from:  arvindh
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 08:33 IST

We often see captions "freedom of press and ethics of press." Whenever
a media or a media person is attacked there would be a huge cry for "freedom of expression." Whenever a system or someone is damaged by a report, there would be a louder question "what happened to the ethics of media?"The pity is, both the terms freedom and ethics of media have not been defined even though there were some international conferences for this purpose organised by UN bodies. The reason? Representatives from the western medias, particularly from US, were not ready to talk and define the ethics. They insisted that only freedom must be discussed and the responsibilities must be left to the individual medias.
Representatives from the other nations were for defining the responsibilities too. So, the international conferences had concluded without taking any final decisions in these aspects.It is from such media houses, opposition to democratic regulation comes. People should be informed of such truths.

from:  A. Kumaresan
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 08:02 IST

Agree with Justice Katju on the need to regulate print/broadcast/web media. Our media needs urgent reforms and structuring focussing on professionalism. Every piece of news published should seek to serve/enlighten the audience. For example, TV channels routinely air road accidents, not once did I notice them analyze the root cause for the accident (mistake, ignorance, non-compliance to rules/law etc.,), they just air the scene of the accident with all the gory details - nothing is learnt by anybody from that. This is just an example. The regulatory body should set the ground rules and monitor the media. However, I disagree with him on Astrology and Cricket, which are quite benign interests of much our people, the former cultural and the latter sports. What is lamentable however is the degradation of cricket itself into a circus of money, wine, women, cricket playing a lesser role in IPL. In other words cricket's descent into India's WWF.

from:  Pushan Varma
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 22:42 IST

I personally agree with the concern over regulation of News but I fear
that such regulation will also come to the Internet. Actually the fear
lies in the fact that how do we interpret the Article 19 (2) which has
the clause "...public order, decency, morality or in relation to
defamation or incitement to an offence.", now who is supposed to
decide on the above mentioned muddled words. As happened in recent
past when Sibal went hyper on a comment on the Gandhi family. Above
mentioned words can easily be interpreted in a way to fuel a purely
political inconspicuous motive.

from:  Mayank
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 22:09 IST

When I went through the editorial 'Media Cannot reject regulation' by
Markandey Katju, I was flabbergasted that there exist some people who
can reveal the truth hidden behind the Media. Media is considered to
be trustworthy. whatever is published or printed is granted as the
almighty truth by the public. The face and role of media has changed a
lot. Media houses as mostly owned by the top rank people and
businessmen who set the propaganda, which would prove beneficial for
themselves but hiding the people from the real facts. The news are
distorted and are fed in a silver spoon to the public.There are lots
of important issues which are not covered and not brought infront of
the eyes. Journalism which was once considered to be the most loyal,
unbiased and trustworthy profession has lost it ethics focusing on
entertainment rather than Information, Education & Knowledge and have
turned into money making business.

from:  Ankita Goswami
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 22:04 IST

It is astonishing that a judge like Katju wants to "regulate" the media with illogical arguments rather than examine the root cause of the current state of media affairs in the country. He wants regulation but not control of the media. Such statements can be accepted if they are made by schoolboys. Does Katju really not know that right from Hitler and Mussolini, governments achieved control THROUGH legislation? Since when did the offices of the Vice President, Speaker etc become non political? We have enough existing laws to deal with irresponsible and yellow journalism. But they are ineffective because of the impotence of our judicial system where cases take decades to reach a verdict. Katju would have more credibility if he did some introspection and called for speedier trials in media cases. Instead he has attacked the media with charges of corruption. Even here, the judiciary itself is just as tarnished. Katju must set his own house in order before trying to suppress media freedom.

from:  Viswanath
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 21:19 IST

Katju does a have point in saying that media should have some regulation. The form of it (regulation) could be debated; but there should be no debate on deciding whether there should be one or not.

from:  Rajesh Dhandapani
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 20:49 IST

Katju: "Welcome to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of India, fellow countrymen, you *better* have a good stay."

from:  D Selvachezhiyan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 20:31 IST

I confess that I am a big fan of Justice Kadju. I like that fact that he says what needs to be said without fear of upsetting the prima donnas around us. Of course the press needs to be regulated like any other body. Accountability is a must for all professional bodies, especially those who wield the power to shape destinies. Self-regulation is akin to a mother prosecuting a criminal son. Only in the film "Mother India" did the protagonist view her son's actions in an unbiased manner.

from:  Samir Mody
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 19:56 IST

Mr Katju is right. Why dont the politicians consider intellectuals Mr Katju for the post of the first citizen of the country?

from:  Veerabhadram
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 19:51 IST

It is high time and a must. One cannot imagine the absolute power of the Media.
The magnitude of destruction due an atom bomb is minuscule. Media can make or
break. More than making, it is only breaking. No institution, be it Government,
political parties, bureaucracy, judiciary, would dare to touch them, leave alone
letting any one to lay hands to regulate.

Media leaves in the minds of readers and viewers, an impression that there is no
light at the end of the tunnel, causing an impression, that everything is wrong in
our INDIAN society and the country. Taking away pride and oxygen of hope. That
the whole society and the country has gone to dogs. Citizens of the country have
lost respect, faith in every institution and every system. Be it Government,
politician, bureaucracy, judiciary, religion, traditions and values.

Mr. Katju has drawn a fine line between Control and regulation. A line has to be
drawn between NEWS and VIEWS. One cannot invoke freedom of press for VIEWS.

from:  Vara
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 19:33 IST

What is most surprising to me here is, how is it that almost all the
above comments seem to agree with Mr.Katju's views, whereas most
responses to all his earlier articles were in disagreement with his
views. I hope the Hindu is publishing all comments from the readers and
not just the ones which agree with Mr. Katju's views. Already some
regulation here?

from:  Akshaya Kumar
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 19:15 IST

i totally agree with Mr Katju

from:  Chirag Yadav
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 18:53 IST

My questions are: what is this public interest? who defines it? who is the custodian of it? who is held accountable for it? It is dangerous for one person or a committee, even if it's the learned and worldly-wise Katju to define it. The only sensible thing that can be done is to enforce a mechanism which punishes spurious conjectures being presented as news (sources say!) and trials conducted in TV channels (like the Aarushi murder case).
So, by all means, bring TV channels under PCI; it'll only do good. But more importantly, reform the PCI itself. Put in strong and empowered mechanisms for conducting investigations and passing judgements (like OfCom); make the PCI and the post of the head more high-profile and accountable. Set up processes and review them periodically.
This seem like a good time to make this move. Let go of this opportunity, we'll only have more Rajat Sharma's and Neera Radia's and Rupert Murdoch's rearing their ugly heads.
That's it. Rant over.

from:  Satish Thiagarajan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 18:14 IST

<contd.>
So, where does this leave us? It'll be interesting to look at both Western and Eastern experience. China, our big brother, seems to be doing not too bad with censored media. So why not more censorship and tighter control or media. However, if we look at Europe, the cradle of modern thought and democracy, the media tradition (in my extremely limited knowledge) has strong roots in commercial principle. Writing used to be a monopoly of the church used only in religio-scholastic setting which then evolved into service of tradesmen. Newspapers, interestingly (and even now) were published for city traders in London to disseminate information for trading in stock. The media holding government and in rare cases businesses to account in a relatively recent phenomenon.

But that's history. What about now? Katju says: No right can be absolute, every right is subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest.

from:  Satish Thiagarajan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 18:06 IST

Firstly, an interesting article and in choosing The Hindu as a platform to air his views from Katju is probably making the right noises to the right audience. I bet The Hindu's views are taken seriously in Akbar Road. Good luck with bringing electronic media under PCI. Even if it is managed (despite heavy lobbying against it), I think the aim should be to set up strong mechanisms to allow the press and media to operate in an environment where truth and facts have a fair chance to thrive rather than to witchhunt TV channels.

India as such ranks lower than 130 odd countries in Press Freedom in the world. So, regulation is going to be a balancing act. I have one major disagreement with Katju: that he seems to think media should have some kind of a moral responsbility. Idealistic as it may be, it's a rather steep expectation in a society where Politicians watch porn in the assembly house, Government officials fabricate evidence and Supreme Court judges take pay-outs.

from:  Satish Thiagarajan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 17:59 IST

Kudos To Justice Katju. Despite heavy criticism, Justice Katju has come
out strongly and boldly. There is little to disagree with this article.
Justice Katju has upheld the spirit of our constitution in his
argument.

from:  Dr.Himanshu
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 17:09 IST

There is no doubt that most of the 24*7 news channels strikes a resemblence to B-Grade entertainment channels showcasing stuffs that can in no way termed NEWS by any sane person. The electronic media today is irresponsible, reckless, hungry for cheap sensationalism, and spreading superstitions and damaging
people and reputations, while neglecting serious socio-economic issues like
massive poverty, unemployment, foreign affairs, farmers' suicides etc... Kudos to Mr.Katju for speaking these harsh words...

from:  Puraskar Ranjan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 16:32 IST

Completely agree with Mr. Katju. Now is the time we need to wake up and take action
otherwise its going to be too late.
@Sakal I personally do not agree with your views, but after looking at all other 99% of the
comments I think your views are the only left out ones!

from:  Abhishek
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 16:17 IST

the best way to understand how pathetic our media is: compare BBC with
say-CNN IBN, IBN7 or times now. Infact DD is also broadcasting news
rather than views. Almost all media is trying to give their views and
drown the news, twist it. Media needs to be regulated.

from:  Mithun Mathew
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 15:06 IST

Media in India needs regulation and no one is above law. TV channels and print media seem to be hell bent on not accepting a regulator and want to go about feeding bull crap to the people. Given the poor integrity levels on the great Indian citizens, self regulation is not the answer. They will collude for sure and go scot-free for their misdeeds. Even in developed countries like UK have a independent media regulator in the form of OFCOM where public can raise their concern and action taken against erring media house.
India needs a media regulator with statutory powers as much as it needs LOKPAL.

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 14:56 IST

Katju's remarks should be considered seriously. It's high time we regulate the media. He is absolutely right in arguing in favour of regulation by comparing to other professions like advocacy and judiciary even. Absolute right leads to destruction and causes imbalance in the society and and every right/freedom need to be regulated 'reasonably'. Katju's argument should get wider coverage and support to save our 'sensitive society'.
Thanks to The Hindu for carrying such a good article.

from:  Sudheer
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 13:49 IST

To all the people mindlessly agreeing for regulation, who will regulate the regulators?
Who exactly are these divine people, utterly free of biases and judgement, who will populate this regulatory body?

from:  Sanity
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 13:47 IST

I Totally agree with Justice Katju. No freedom is absolute. with so many violations day after day, it is now important to regulate the media towards a more ethical path. I also agree with the type of mechanism he has proposed.

from:  ASma Rizwan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:58 IST

The problem with Katju is not his appeal for regulation, but his misplaced belief that decency, national interest and integrity can be decided by him or the likes of him.

from:  Jyotirmaya Sharma
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:42 IST

There is a need for regulation and Katju is correct in asking for it; we can debate about the pros and cons and checks and balances that should be in place to avoid misuse. The media wants to throw the baby with the bath water as rightly they don't want it since owners will have to compromise on profits by showing anything and everything in the garb of 'people want it'.
The answer to 'we show what is asked for' is people want to kill girl child so should the law let it happen? An entire village will vote for lynching of a couple should we then allow Khap Panchayats? There are many a times when people will have to be guided to come out of their present situation. Of course we need to have checks and balances so that someone doesn't usurp and start dictating morality etc. like Mamata Banerjee wants to but we can't even let things the way they are at present.
Every evening there is a 'tamasha' in the name of debates on channels; every one trying to out do each other. Gotta stop it

from:  Amer
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:42 IST

The media's attention has long been shifted to elsewhere only
highlighting the pastime merely to earn money, as Mr. Katju had
rightly said and also he is very bold in repeating the same issues to
be heard by those who have to hear.
The media except few only portrays the cricket and reality shows as
the real sort of things without showing any courage to inform about
poverty, unemployment and umpteen other social issues.
Not long ago the Judge also said about the poor intellectual level of
the media persons that is the main cause for all the useless
information dominating the scenes 24*7.
Therefore unless it is regulated the media never do boadcast each and
every item by prioritising to the need of the citizens.

from:  Shameemul Islam SKS
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:30 IST

Mr. Katju's views are very correct and there should be a healthy debate. Recent issue made by media about movement of troops towards New Delhi is an example which vouches for the regulation. Democracy is our strength , our army is a professional force dedicated to democracy, yet media people did not care and cashed the opportunity. There is indeed need for the regulation. I am fed of watching IPL/Cricket, movie,stars coverage when people are dying in our country.In his earlier article Mr. Katju pointed that news is not a commodity which could be sold on demand, its a business of ideas which affect the national thinking and view, utmost care should be taken by media.

from:  brijesh rajak
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:27 IST

This is something overdue. The media goes to extreme lengths in anything, even clicking very private occasions such as funerals etc., all under the self-righteous excuse of "doing our job". Who decides their job description? They advocate regulation for every one and every thing, but not for themselves. Only they are capable of self-regulation! So much so, the media aided the 26/11 attackers by filming it live.

from:  Ramana Murthy
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:27 IST

I am agree with the views of Mr Katju, there should be strictly ethical based regulation for Electronic Media. The much of Content which these channels telecast causes tension in the environment.
I remembered one such sensationalism laden coverage at the time of World cup semifinal between India and Pakistan, when some channels used the unethical and derogatory remarks.Today India is facing many other real problem, it is need of the hour , media should introspect it self, and should focus its intention on development related issues.

from:  Asad Faisal Farooqui
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:23 IST

Mr. Katju's analysis is correct and there is a strong case for
regulatory structure for media. The strong growth of media in last
decade or so has perpetuated various unhealthy practices like paid
news, commoditisation of news, sensationalist journalism, lobbying
etc. Moreover, self-regulation can never be successful in a scenario
when there is a tacit understanding 'not to touch brethren'.
Undoubtedly media has played a great role in uncovering scores of
scams but it needs to focus more on areas like poverty alleviation,
communalism & casteism, gender justice, female infanticide etc. Media
outlets should not be overtly sensitive to even the mention of word
'regulation'. In Victor Hugo's words, "regulation of media is an idea
whose time has come". An independent regulatory structure will be a
major boost to the good institutions in media and punish the rotten
apples.

from:  sanjay
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 12:20 IST

It is nice to publish this article in a national newspaper. Only The Hindu could do this. as aper as the content of the article goes it clearly justifies the need and also recommends a solution for the same.

from:  rajkamal
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 11:44 IST

As rightly pointed out by Markandey Katju a regulation should be exercised on the way media functions.I am a CA and being a professional I realize a strong organization is required to regulate the affairs of the profession. Although I have not studied the provisions of the bill, it would be better to constitute a statutory body for media, which can take care of the needs and demands of the profession. The statutory body can be independent and can have members from different fields. This would not only help to improve the quality of news but also can devise a mechanism of self balances and checks. Although the media people shout about the freedom of speech enshrined in the constitution of India but their fundamental duties of having scientific temper is nowhere to be seen.The problem of paid news also can be eradicated by having a mechanism in place.

from:  Shiva Mudgil
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 11:44 IST

Mr. Katju has presented his views forcefully, once again. In recent times, Print and Electronic Media have done some excellent work in exposing scams and corruption without fear or favour. The proposed regulations should be very clear about the boundaries so that investigative Journalists and Reporters can continue with their good work without fear. I would like to read an article in The Hindu by a Media Owner who disagrees with Mr. Katju.

from:  Periasamy
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 11:35 IST

KUDOS to Mr Katju,India need such bold and sensible sons.i fear when i change channels on my tv that even by mistake i don't see that stupid "india tv" tag;oh my Motherland's name has been misused.the best way to destroy a house is give to a lot of money to the most ignorant person of that household.

from:  balachandramenon
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 11:09 IST

The article is very relevant in the present context of unbridled reporting of news that are primarily very speculative on facts , particularly by the electronic media competing with each other to claim preeminence in the the ratings. In the name of public debating, a coterie of professional speakers air their views on the half-baked inputs most of the time leading to certain consensus only to be contradicted the next day with new inputs coming as 'news'. In a situation where persons' reputations are at stake, much damage is done one day, vindicated the next day and again indicted the following day. The reporting is in short a running commentary of the situations as the bits of (in)complete information emerge. Regulation is necessary to stop speculative reporting on incomplete or unsubstantiated information particularly those that are sensitive- related to national security, personal reputation, social harmony etc.

from:  M.R.Sampath
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 11:04 IST

I fully agree with justice katju on this. media consists of 1000s of people, they all self-regulate is a myth. justice katju rightly pointed out, in the name of freedom media is misusing it. the regulatory body is a welcome step and must not be dominated by politicians and media owners.
there is a comment that says let people decide, if all people could decide good for themselves we won't needed laws at all.

from:  Raj
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 11:04 IST

What Mr.Markandey Katju told was absolutely right.Despite of no restrictions media has no limit of publishing the news(fake or obscene) which they had gathered.If the Media too has a regulatory body then it will publish the news which are real in nature and also helpful to the society.Lets have an interesting debate on this issue.

from:  Nagarjuna
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 10:59 IST

Mr.Katju is absolutely right. Also, the 'know-it-all' attitude of young TV anchors (while they even don't know the Indian history of 1970s) and some of their irresponsible comments are un-bearable.

from:  George Varghese
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 10:45 IST

The era of breaking news has resulted in media persons coming out with sensational statements when none exist. As a doctor i was apalled by the way health issues like swine flu were blown out of proportion while issues like Tuberculosis and Diabetes mellitus which are a far bigger threat to our society were not even given the position of a foot note.While it is common knowledge that conditions like swine flu can only be managed symptomatically and hope that the patient's immune system recovers, i was aghast to hear a alec smart reporter standing outside a doctor's clinic and labelling him as a "killer doctor" (sic!) because he could not save the life of a malnourished child who was brought to the hospital at an advanced stage. These young tykes have no proper knowledge of the issues they are reporting but would twist the situation to make it an issue of good versus evil. Their reporting reminds us of one Mr. Bush who famously said,"Either you are with us or you are against us."

from:  krishnan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 10:03 IST

Yes.It is time there is some regulation on the functioning of the print and the visual media.I am sure they will behave more responsibly when they have to function within certain boundaries.

from:  Mathew george
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 10:00 IST

Good Article Sir.But,there should be freedom for the media in expressing its views and media should be held accountable for its actions.Media should also be more responsible to society by curtailing yellow journalism,frivolous issues and should focus more on socio-economic issues like poverty,unemployement,Public health etc.

from:  Raja Srikanth Vennapu
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 09:50 IST

We can look to the West to see the impact of unregulated media driven by corporate and commercial interests. Skepticism about climate change, lack of sufficient momentum for reforming financial institutions all come from slanted media coverage that buys into viewpoints convenient to corporate ownership, minimizing coverage that is against the corporate interest. Add to this the drive towards lowest common denominator programming in the name of ratings, and you realize that the interests of for-profit media are often not aligned with those of the viewing public. Competition as a regulator goes only so far, because the pressure to profits pushes all the competitors in the same direction, of favouring their own interests ahead of society's interest. So yes, we desperately need regulation. It is great that the article makes the critical distinction between regulation and control. We need to translate that into operational principles for regulation design.

from:  Swaminathan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 09:44 IST

Awesome!!!.Mr.Markandey Katju ,your points are valid.Lets have a stronger debate on this..

from:  Prakash
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 09:19 IST

very rightly said, every one in a democratic country must be
regulated,whether it pm, cm, chif justice or any one else.as far as
eletronic media is concerned it is very urgent need to regulate the
contents which is being published by our media,because media affects
mass of the people.media should focus on india's real problem as the
writers mentioned above.

from:  satish kumar singh
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 09:15 IST

Such a powerful argument that one can only agree with it. "If the broadcast media claims self-regulation, then on the same logic everyone should be allowed self-regulation. Why then have laws at all, why have a law against theft, rape or murder? Why not abolish the Indian Penal Code and ask everyone to practise self-regulation?"

from:  Venkat
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 09:02 IST

As a media student I am extremely worried the way media has been
functioning (with few exceptions). The kind of the vocabulary they use
with ridiculed passion to broadcast all and sundry sort of news makes
me feel the heaven is going to fall every second. There is strong need for stopping such things. The way to achieve this may be anything but self-regulation. This term self-regulation is an amorphous and vague term which only gives the tilted channels and news papers a friendly ladder to walk the way they wish to. There can be an institution like "Press Complaint Council" which functions extremely well in Britain. Apart from this there should be change the way "Role Of Media" is taught to students. I've been taught the role is 1. to inform 2.to educate 3. to entertain. I feel news media has to be differentiated from other media and "to entertain" should be removed from its definition. This term make budding journalists go complacent about what they are expected to do.

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 08:57 IST

putting required restraints on media is need of hour.Because the writer
is right at this point that reporters are susceptible and vulnerable to
bribe and other immoral so they must exercise certain kind of
restrictions in the public interest.

from:  sumit rewri
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 08:20 IST

India is evolving and not yet a developed meaningful state. We still
possess the statehood largely through feudal means. It finds leadership through family succession than a peoples process. Therefore the scope for debate is large and ought to be kept unrestricted .

from:  S.Sistla
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 07:56 IST

I had read somewhwere, India gets a kind of Media that it deserves. I don't believe it is completely true, I guess the issue is how to fill up the 24 hour news channel content and geab attention of an average Indian. The perception of news channels that only sensationalism works looks to be misplaced. What I fear now is, have we as the receiver's of news, are now only intrested in a sensational story. Our apathy towards core issues such as poverty, malnutrition etc are to be blamed for this too. I guess the role of media comes in here to bring awareness about such issues, but sadly it works otherwise. This will not change unless some regulation is brough in as suggested in the above article.

from:  Saurabh Aggarwal
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 07:40 IST

Mr Katju is right. A law is direly needed to regulate the media. Media coverage of cricket goes beyond its duty of 'reporting'. The manner in which media is covering a private business activity called IPL seems to indicate that cricket coverage is constitutionally ordained! Then take the case of one-sided coverage of an undefinable concept called 'Social Justice'. Why, even the Hindu allows only the caste extremists of TN to air their bogus views while shutting out contra views.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 05:47 IST

good good, regulate them, I remember back when mumbai attacks were going
on, a channel was airing live interview with one of the terrorist. What
a joke, some of these so called reporters have no common sense at all.

from:  vicky singh
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 04:51 IST

We notice that the media never exercise self regulation. A couple of days ago there was an article in an English daily under the caption " Wife swapping is accepted as normal". It is stated in the article that many favour it etc etc. I dont think the media has ever taken the views of at least 1000 couples . Such headings give a wrong impression and according to some people the published items are pieces of truth. Can they not give headings respecting the culture and decency of the people and the country ?

from:  K. C.Thomas
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 04:49 IST

Excellent article. Media regulation is required big time in india in the interest of public.There have been cases which was overhyped by media to influence the judiciary. The one and only motive behind the media "owners" is profit.btw Do we really need 24 hours news channels ?

from:  Nathan
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 04:25 IST

Excellent point reiterated by Katju sir. Regulation is needed more than anything else in the media specially the 24*7 electronic media.But we have to make it sure that there will only be regulation.As Sir has suggested one of the possible mechanism to instill a regulatory authority.Rather than just contradicting the above view the media person need to take it seriously.Beacuse every sane person will favour a regulation on the media strictly not control.Self regulation in media is nothing but a misnomer.

from:  sikandar
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 02:34 IST

Justice Katju is absolute right...I fully support his views. Self regulation is no regulation.. and its high time Press council act should be ammended and PCI should become Media Council Of India..Why is media afraid of an Independent body?? Doesnt UK have a press complaint commissionehich is very effective..??If not this than Is media ready for coming under the verge of LOKPAL??High time indian media should introspect now and take issues concerning to people notfashion parade ,astrology and all.

from:  S.K.Jain
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 01:25 IST

Kudos to Justice Katju for showing the guts to take on Indian media..Also The Hindu should also be appreciated for publishing critical articles like this of MSM.
Justice Katju official blog address is
www.justicekatju.blogspot.in. Visit it to read some great articles of Justice Katju

from:  ankush jain
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 01:09 IST

Katju J has made a nice distinction between control and regulation. He himself Is
Opposed to control as it is dictatorial. Media had no carta Blanche to do anything and everything they like and regulation does appear to be very necessary in India.. This is Necessary as the reporting is not always factual, and the colored and distorted versions Confuse the readers and also creates ill feelings. In America, the media resorts to factual Reporting. In England Murdoch got into trouble and the same situation might arise in Other countries as well , if there is no regulation, or self regulation , to guarantee the Sanctity of the news through the media. The chairman of the press council is right in his plea, and the nation and the press lords will stand to benefit in the long run, if regulations Are evolved.

from:  C.p.Chandra das
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 01:07 IST

Mr. Katju plays the same old rhetoric, although no where in his article he clearly differentiates between control and regulation. 1. People do not watch one news channel, nor read just one newspaper. Given ample number of channels and newspapers there is a wide coverage of issues and people choose between them to arrive at a consensus. 2. Also, the local channels and newspapers cover local news related to different streams of life. He should look at any local newspaper to look at the depth in which any suicide or dowry related incidents are shown. Mr. Katju,the national news channel will report bigger picture. 3. News is a consumer good like anything else and so leave it to the people to decide what they want to see. People who do not want to see a baba, switch to other channel. Overall,he is questioning the rationality of individuals to choose between news channels. His recent social media comments also points his paternalistic ideology.Mr Katju,leave this choice to citizens of India.

from:  Sakal
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 01:02 IST
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