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Updated: November 17, 2011 00:17 IST

‘I am a votary of liberty; my criticism of the media is aimed at making them better'

Markandey Katju
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MARKANDEY KATJU:
The Hindu MARKANDEY KATJU: "All freedoms are subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest, and are coupled with responsibilities."

‘There is no such thing as self-regulation, every institution is accountable to the people.' We publish here an edited excerpt from a clarification issued by Press Council chairman Markandey Katju. The full text of his clarification can be read at www.thehindu.com. ‘No doubt, the media should provide some entertainment also to the people. But if 90 per cent of their coverage is devoted to entertainment, and only 10 per cent to all the socio-economic issues put together, then the sense of priorities of the media has gone haywire.'

I have expressed my views relating to the media in several TV interviews I gave as well as in my articles in some newspapers. However, many people, including media people, wanted clarification and amplification of some of the issues I had raised. Since some controversy appears to have been raised about what I said, a clarification is in order.

Full Text

Today India is passing through a transitional period in our history, the transition being from feudal agricultural society to modern industrial society. This is a very painful and agonising period in history. The old feudal society is being uprooted and torn apart, but the new modern industrial society has not been fully and firmly established. Old values are crumbling, but new modern values have not yet been put in place. Everything is in flux, in turmoil. As Shakespeare said in Macbeth, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.”

If one studies the history of Europe from the 16th to the 19th centuries, when the transition from feudalism to modern society was taking place, one realises that this transitional period was full of turbulence, turmoil, wars, revolutions, chaos, social churning, and intellectual ferment. It was only after going through this fire that modern society emerged in Europe. India is presently going through that fire. We are going through a very painful period in our country's history, which, I guess, will last another 15 to 20 years. I wish this transition would take place painlessly and immediately but unfortunately that is not how history functions.

In this transition period, the role of ideas, and therefore of the media, becomes extremely important. At a particular historical juncture, ideas become a material force. For instance, the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity, and of religious freedom (secularism) became powerful material forces during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, and particularly during the American and French Revolutions. In the age of transition in Europe, the media (which were only the print media at that time) played a great, historical role in the transformation of feudal Europe to modern Europe.

In my opinion, the Indian media too should play a progressive role similar to the one played by the European media [during that age of transition]. This it can do by attacking backward and feudal ideas and practices like casteism, communalism, superstitions, women's oppression, etc. and propagating modern, rational and scientific ideas, secularism, and tolerance. At one time, a section of our media played a great role in our country.

Manner of functioning

When I criticised the Indian media, and particularly the broadcast media, for not playing such a progressive and socially responsible role, I was furiously attacked by a section of the media for my views. Some even launched a personal attack on me saying that I was an agent of the government. When serious issues are raised about the functioning of the media, it was expected that those issues would be addressed seriously.

By criticising the media, I wanted to persuade them to change their manner of functioning — not that I wanted to destroy them. The Indian media have a historical role to play in the age of transition, and I wanted to remind media persons of their historical duty to the nation. Instead of taking my criticism in the correct spirit, a veritable diatribe was launched against me by a section of the media, which painted me as some kind of dictatorial monster.

More focus on entertainment

The media should regard me as their well-wisher. I criticised them because I wanted media persons to give up many of their defects and follow the path of honour which the European press was following, and which will give them the respect of the Indian people.

I mentioned that 80 per cent of our countrymen are living in horrible poverty; there is massive unemployment, skyrocketing prices, lack of medical care, education, etc. and barbaric social practices like honour killings, dowry deaths, caste oppression, and religious bigotry. Instead of seriously addressing these issues, 90 per cent of the coverage of our media goes to entertainment, for example, the lives of film stars, fashion parades, pop music, disco dancing, cricket, etc, or showing superstitions like astrology.

No doubt, the media should provide some entertainment also to the people. But if 90 per cent of their coverage is devoted to entertainment, and only 10 per cent to all the socio-economic issues put together, then the sense of priorities of the media has gone haywire. The real issues before the people are socio-economic, and the media are seeking to divert their attention to the non-issues like film stars, fashion parades, disco, pop, cricket, and so on. It is for this lack of a sense of priorities, and for showing superstitions, that I criticised the media.

What I said

One should not be afraid of criticism, nor should one resent it. People can criticise me as much as they like, I will not resent it, and maybe I will benefit from it. But similarly the media should not mind if I criticise them. My aim in doing so is to make them better media people.

While criticising, however, fairness requires that one should report the words of one's opponent accurately, without twisting or distorting them. That was the method used by our philosophers. They would first state the views of their opponent, in what was called as the ‘purvapaksha.' This was done with such accuracy and intellectual honesty that if the opponent were present, he could not have stated his views better. Thereafter it was sought to be refuted.

Unfortunately, this practice is often not followed by our media.

First, I did not make a statement aboutallmedia people but only of the majority. There are many media people for whom I have great respect. So I wish to clarify here that I did not paint the entire media with the same brush. Second, I did not say that this majority was uneducated or illiterate. This again was a deliberate distortion of what I said. I never used the word ‘uneducated.' I said that the majority is of a poor intellectual level. A person may have passed B.A. or M.A. but yet may be of a poor intellectual level.

I have again and again said in my articles, speeches, and TV interviews that I am not in favour of harsh measures against the media.

In a democracy, issues are ordinarily resolved by discussion, persuasion, consultation, and dialogue, and that is the method I prefer, rather than using harsh measures. If a channel or newspaper has done something wrong I would prefer to call the persons responsible and patiently explain to them that what they have done is not proper. I am sure that in 90 per cent or more cases that would be sufficient. I strongly believe that 90 per cent of people who are doing wrong things can be reformed and made good people.

It is only in extreme cases, which would only be about five to 10 per cent, that harsh measures would be required, and that too after repeated use of the democratic method has failed and the person proves incorrigible.

This statement of mine was again distorted and a false impression created that I wanted to impose emergency in the country. Cartoons were published in some newspapers showing me as some kind of dictator.

The truth is that I have always been a strong votary for liberty, and the proof of this is my judgments in the Supreme Court and the High Court in which I have consistently held that judges are guardians of the liberties of the citizens, and they will be failing in their duties if they do not uphold these liberties. However, liberty does not mean licence to do anything one wishes. All freedoms are subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest, and are coupled with responsibilities.

We may now discuss the question of self-regulation.

Self-regulation by broadcast media

At present, there is no regulatory authority to cover the electronic media. The Press Council of India governs only the print media, and even in cases of violation of journalistic ethics by the latter, the only punishment that can be given is admonition or censure. I have written to the Prime Minister requesting him to initiate legislation to amend the Press Council Act by (1) bringing the electronic media also under the ambit of the Press Council, and (2) giving more teeth to the Press Council.

The electronic media have strongly opposed bringing them under the Press Council. Their claim is of self-regulation. But even Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts do not have such an absolute right. They can be impeached by Parliament for misconduct. Lawyers are under the Bar Council of India, which can suspend or cancel their licence for professional misconduct. Doctors come under the Medical Council of India, which can suspend or cancel their licence. Auditors are in the same position. Why then are the electronic media shy of coming under any regulatory authority? Why these double standards? If they do not wish to come under the Press Council of India (because the present Chairman is a wicked and/or undesirable person) then the NBA (News Broadcasters Association), and BEA (Broadcast Editors Association) should indicate which regulatory authority they wish to come under. Are they willing to come under the proposed Lokpal? I have repeatedly raised this question in several newspapers, but my question has always been met either by stony silence on the part of the NBA and the BEA or by dismissing the very question as ‘irresponsible.'

TV news and shows have a large influence on a wide section of our public. Hence in my opinion, TV channels must also be made accountable to the public.

If the broadcast media insist on self-regulation, then by the same logic, politicians, bureaucrats, and so on must also be granted the right of self-regulation, instead of being placed under the Lokpal. Or do the broadcast media regard themselves so holy that nobody should regulate them except themselves? In that case, what is paid news, the Radia tapes, etc? Is that the work of saints?

In fact there is no such thing as self-regulation, which is an oxymoron. Everybody is accountable to the people in a democracy — and so are the media.

More In: Comment | Opinion

If my language is harsh, pardon me. To me trusting the media with self regulation equates with trusting my dog with my dinner.

from:  Sreedhar Thakkun
Posted on: Nov 22, 2011 at 23:47 IST

I wonder, will this age of terrible media practices really end? Even the
West is kind of already on the "entertainment" platform rather than the
serious news one.
It's a degradation of journalism all around the world. And I doubt it
will end, however much we need it.

from:  Omkar
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 19:33 IST

Yes, I agree with the learned Justice's observations that the electronic media too should come under some regulatory authority. Why are they shying away from such regulation? Just because the misuse of authority during emergency in 1975 cannot be cited as a valid reason for the media to escape from this regulatory body. So far, in the history of the Indian electronic media, when and where was any instance the media performed its duty and responsibility to its professional ethics. At any slightest instance they only sensationalize the news items thus trivialising the seriousness of the real issues facing Indian people like the socio-economic issues that are engulfing us. The media have no right to escape from such a regulatory authority.

from:  M.S.Chagla
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 09:31 IST

What is explained in the article is 100% right. The media cannot take this double stand. they have to be under control of some regulatory body.Media can't function as autocrat in the world of democracy . Now more than 90% of the time in media is allocated to entertainment programmes to entertain a small section of society and to make them close their eyes against real problems of life which is completely against the principles of fourth estate

from:  bini
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 12:41 IST

What said by PCI Chairman , Exactly , true , we do not need to go away from the reality, it is happening in our media now a days,so we should well come of this statement and ready to face the new challenges and opportunities forthcoming days in media. I,personally, feel that we have to ready for this.

from:  Kamlesh Meena
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 15:00 IST

When media has become an entertainment center, instead of focusing on varied subjects that affect the masses, it has gravely failed in its obligation to be objective, observe all that is news worthy and report. Deliberate diversion to shift the focus of the masses to entertainment, rather than social issues, the media is using band aid to contain a volcano that is ready to erupt. I pray the media will use its vast resources responsibly.

from:  Sreedhar Thakkun
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 01:26 IST

Neatly and in more understandable way expressed his views and Media houses and editors have to think in right and positive spirit instead smelling or sensing something hidden. As chairman said poor intellect leads to misunderstand and missing of presenting the facts of the incidents or occasions while do it will impacts on readers understand that may lead and creates someother issues and problems. This is happens due to fierce competition in Media let them to forget what to put in lead story and where to focus page three story to lure readers. Indian Medias having great respect and had its own history in the world should try to tie in this line with modernization in its presentation and acquiring new techniques without compromising in less analytical and biased story writing and reporting. We need factul, pragmatic and unbiased kind of Medias today as we are in the period of transistion and exposing ourselves to many more new things in the society.

from:  Raghavendra Pawar
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 15:29 IST

I am fully agreed with PCI Chairman Justice Katju who is known for openness and righteousness. It is the time for the media for introspection. They show cricket instead of bread. Freedom of expression (which is not without discipline) is the one of the best thing in a democracy. Here media also serves the corporate and other interests in the guise of freedom of expression. Not a censor but a watchdog should be there with reasonable and balanced powers to monitor media.

from:  Govindasamy Sekar
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 14:51 IST

In this regard I must accept with Mr. Markandeya , I also been with the same opinion of him that most of the News Papers and News channels ,like Corporate companies, are making their ultimate goal as Profit Maximizing and Maximizing the viewers rather than keeping their media's goals and value in action to play active role in the making of good Society. But they are trying to become agents of Branding - Heroes, films, cricket stars and episodes of Political Skulduggery. Although there is still lot of good in media, the lot of good really so tiny in comparison with the bad/bussiness of entertainment and showcasing things of less importance to the masses of India. Vigilant citizens must aware of this and be an activist to reform the things in many fields of such kind.

from:  Praveen Kumar M
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 13:47 IST

This is the best article i have ever seen. First of all let me appreciate 'The Hindu' for its extensive coverage on Markandey Katju views. When serious issues are raised about the functioning of the media and it is expected to reassess and rectify itself, instead section of media starts attacking Mr.Katju for his comments. This is unfortunate and undemocratic. I think it’s a high time for the apex court to interfere and frame the guidelines to bring the electronic media also under the ambit of PCI or constitute an autonomous regulatory authority for this purpose. There should be provisions which should stat that specified time/space should be allocated in media to cover the socio-economic issues and common man centric programmes. And also there has to be an effective mechanism to oversee the flow of funds to the news channels and audit their accounts. In this way atleast we can minimize the political interference which is so dangerous in the democracy.

from:  Prakash Boddeda
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 11:26 IST

This one's most articulated view,presented in most logical manner,which brings in to light the veiled blasphenous act of electronic media.Media must address the critical issues raised by justice Katju rather than seeing it as threat to their existence.The important issue raised by justice Katju regarding the lack of remedial of social problems in the media group shows the social apathy practised by them. The sensalisation of irrelevant issues need a system of checks & balance.It'll be further worthwhile to mention restraint on the functioning is the need of the hour as nothing can't function under the tag of "Gospels of Truth".

from:  Vivek Anand
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 10:43 IST

Honorable Katju instruction to majority of electronic media is give priority to nation building news rather than only entertainment or keeping nation un-rested and directionless. Same view was raised previously by APJ. Spoiling the mind of Indian people, they should know, this is what they teach to their kids and kins. Be responsible.

from:  Selvakumar
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 10:26 IST

Indian TV news channel is a big joke. They release a breaking news every minute and then break the heads of people..some classic examples of breaking news by these channels 1. Hira Rabbani has a birkin bag 2. Shah Rukh and Salman fight over a toothpaste 3. Tendulkar misses his 100th ton (this news is breaking for 6 months now) 4. Omar Abdullah tweets so.and so..5. Rahul Dravid has hit two sixes in an innings for the first time..6. Today is April fools day..7. ...the list is endless..
I am happy that somebody talks sense.

from:  Sriram R
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 10:04 IST

Justice Katju's arguments in favor of regulation over media cannot be brushed aside. This is need of the hour. He has been asking for a controlling body for electronic media like Press Council for print media. In his capacity as Chairman of Press Council of India, it will be useful if he divulges information on how useful Press Council has been in streamlining print media. How much has it served public interest. We expect Justice Katju, or for that matter any responsible media person, to illustrate the efficacy of Press Council.

from:  Ibrahim
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 09:38 IST

Justice M.Katju has expressed what's exactly going on in the Indian media, be it electronic or print. The standards of media has gone to gutters now, seeing Radia tapes and NDTV reporter Barkha's indulgence. More and more media is now inclined towards political parties, obviously to gain their own interests. Quality reporting with unbiased views are a past now. Distorting reports, live telecast of rubbish events have become the order now. Print media like The Hindu stands as a rare example for outstanding reports and its neutrality. Its time to bring a regulation for the media or else, paid news will be more common, there by making the fourth estate a laughing stock.

from:  Syed Kabeer Ahmed
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 08:11 IST

Justice Katju's views are well and good. If he is only offering his opinions, which I mostly agree with, in the free flow of ideas, the debate would be better for it. But the problem occurs when any such individual also has the power to do something about those opinions but without iron-clad checks and balances. So, first, we must recognize that we are all human - the judge and the judged alike - and therefore fallible. Then, there must be a codified and clear process for judging, sanctions, grievance and redress. These processes must supersede and survive individuals.

from:  RRG
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 04:50 IST

justice katju has well said that a country is born out ideas and these act as a material force to build a nation and the real problem of media is that it has no ideology ,they lack visionary people and full of business minded people who don't have any sense of responsibility towards the nation

from:  chandan kumar
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 00:49 IST

Nothing has changed in the way of description done by the writer here, as was happening in the Media earlier. Sensationalizing the issues is one of the basic fundamental of the media in the present scenario because they are well aware of what the people need. When i read an article by the same writer, an intention knocked my mind that after a long time the criticism has come from the fora of media itself. This is not a necessarily thing to be right always in your own opinion but sometimes when the thoughts come from a common intellectual mind of the strong part of the society it gets some type of the base and it does't call as a bias-ness but again today after reading the Sorry-full or so called regretting words of the critic on what has done by him earlier. giving clarification on what he had expressed, is showing openly that if Media can be the part of the criticism so it can make the critic the part of criticism. So no option remains, just remains to be quite.

from:  Rishi Gupta
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 23:19 IST

One of the best articles written in recent times. Justice Katju is a person of intellect and media ,specially electronic media, is reacting as it has made a practice of jumping on ridicules conclusions.Also it has been mentioned that youth are possessed of only short term memory. It is not entirely correct as is clear from various social and political responsibilities taken by youths. Youth of India is looking for a developed India and media is not playing its proper role of a guardian, instead it is busy distracting them from realities.

from:  kumar rohit
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 23:13 IST

Government should look for an amendment to put electronic media into the ambit of any of the Regulatory Authority as suggested by Justice Katju.It is a very comprehensive observation,beyond doubt, that a vast section of people get influenced by what they perceive about the contents shown in television channels,so it would be a social justice to put media accountable to the people,specially when we are living in a Democracy.According to a proverb "one cannot clap with only one hand".So people should also have interest about the acute and strategic issues relevant to socio-economic perspective.There should be some improvement in our education system,so that our youngsters could grasp more knowledge about our society and we could produce high class intellectuals, who would be interested in pervasive culture of our country,instead of having interest in trivial or celebrities news,which is of no use.

from:  Priyesh Pathak
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 20:43 IST

Any government (or sem-government) agency that is given the power to regulate must be viewed with suspicion. Pravda and Izvestia were the most powerful tools of the State under the now defunct USSR. The best way to fight lies and distortions is to expose tehm, educate the public and TRUTH. Controlling the message in the name of regulation is very attractive but always has very negarive unintended consequences.

from:  MUKUNDAGIRI SADAGOPAN
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 20:31 IST

The article by Justice Katzu has really shown the forgotten legacy of ideals of Enlightenment.The Media or journalists are not above board and they must criticize themselves before wielding the weapon of criticism. Unfortunately, many in the field of journalism have been swept off their feet in the hurricane of commercialism. they have rise to the occasion when the country is going through a transition into new era. In this regard there is no need to imitate the negative aspects of the western media in promotion of the life style of the affluent and in support of the status-quo.

from:  J.Ravindranath
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 19:04 IST

So much has already been said in support of the views of Justice M. KATJU, with out even a single person expressing dissent.It is commendable that despite severe criticism from the media shri KATJU has shown the courage to come out strongly to show the erring media its place in the society.Being the fourth estate, the responsibility that falls on the media to protect the national interest of the country is far too great .It should not be forgotten that the irresponsible coverage and telecasting of the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai was more helpful to the terrorists than our citizens. The media ought to be regulated for sure.

from:  Raju Varghese
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 18:48 IST

Justice Katju is absolutely right.The amount of print/TV media coverage being given to things like Ash's baby is ridiculous. Who really cares a fig for this kind of media coverage? Why do the 'press' clamour and jostle to be on the Indian Prime Ministers plane while he is going to or returning from foreign jaunts. Have'nt they heard his repeatedly the same 'inane' sound bytes ad nauseum? How many times have the 'press' got after Pranab Babu because he has been claiming for two years that inflation will come down next month? Why does not the 'press' highlight the fact that huge big advertisements by every Ministry are released on Soniaji's birthday, Indira Gandhi's birthday, Rajivji's birthday & death aniversary, Nehru's birthday.Such a colossal waste of tax payers money only to deify members of ONE family. The balance 1.2 billion of us have no relevance !!!!!

from:  Mukul Goyal
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 18:43 IST

Respect for Justice Katju. Well articulated views which carry real substance. Anyone without prejudice and with simple common sense can appreciate his views. Self-regulation is the biggest farce of the modern era. Self regulation is based upon the pillars of infallibility, sagacity and limitlessness. Nothing can be farther from truth than assuming these attributes for any entity (real or unreal) in this universe.

from:  Pratyush
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 18:26 IST

Wonderful article sir. Nowdays most of the TVs are showing rubbish in the name of entertainment.Even the the so called news channel does not show some important news if it hutrs them. Common people could not understand what is going on in the electronic media. Most of the news are apppears to be paid news. So there must be some regulatory for electronic media.Again congradulation sir to bring such an issue in the public domain with your bold and courageous attitude.

from:  Sakthi
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 17:27 IST

A wonderful article. There is immediate need to curb yellow journalism and media charging money for articles as such articles are more or less adverts and propoganda which otherwise would not desrve the space in the media.

from:  Ajay Bhargav
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 16:46 IST

Justice Katju has set the ball rolling for a healthy and reasonable debate. I wholesomely agree with his comments on broadcasting media. Kudos to The Hindu for facilitating the same.

from:  Dr.Himanshu
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 16:19 IST

I am seeing Modern Nehru from Honorable MARKANDEY KATJU. This article is master piece and every journalist must read. I am not seeing anything wrong on his comments on intellectual level of today's budding journalists. They lack basic skills and they can't write an article like this even to criticize.

from:  Gokulnath
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 15:10 IST

Justice M. Katju has very cogently expressed the present state of disorder prevailing in our democratic organs, more specifically the fourth pillar of democracy, viz press (both print & electronic) Moreover, under the garb of freedom of press, these so-caled self acclaimed upholders of freedom of speech, impose all their whims and fancies on the people of the country. Look what happened to the more sauve Rupert Mudroch in England.They created such havoc in the whole of England. These things are slowly and systematically being brought to our great nation, by a very organised syndicate. Let us be aware of such nefarious designs and discourage their activities. Let there be reasonable regulations governing the media (even if it means that they be regulated by their own people)Long live our democracy and its institutions!!!

from:  abdul rehman
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 15:01 IST

An excellent article by Mr.Katju,like many of his judgements this article upholds values of democracy

from:  Jyothis K A
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:31 IST

Why does Markandey Katju have to stress on Lokpal issue in the debate. Its a balant warning shot fired by the Justice and his masters in the UPA, to keep them away from covering any negative news about the UPA government. Regulation of media is just a garb for them to control what news reaches the people. This is a dangerous attempt and should be pushed back by all patriotic citizens of the country.

from:  Rajagopal
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:20 IST

Yes, Justice Katzu has presented his views so perfectly and there is nothing to find fault with. But as the new chairman of PCI, he has confined all his arguments to fit that organization. But the problem lies somewhere else. Without addressing that one cannot bring the required changes in the media either print or electronic or new media. It is unfortunate that we have not updated our media policy for decades together. Though several changes are taking place in the media and in the society either technically or otherwise we have not updated our laws. He has touched only the tip of iceberg. In fact as a media person, I wrote a book in Telugu titled ‘NENU JOURNALISTU NENA ?’ (Am I really a journalist) in which I have discussed at length all that that is haunting the media and also discussed some solutions like bringing some bills before the Parliament at the earliest.

from:  Rajeswara Rao Mulugu
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 13:52 IST

It is really sad to see that both print and electronic media has colluded and launched scathing attacks on Justice Katju for his views and suggestions about media. A large number of articles & programs have since appeared exaggerating and distorting his views and using their platforms to attack him. A more sensible approach would have been to look inwards and setup necessary mechanisms. Media must understand that people of India are supreme and every institution is finally accountable, media can't remain un-accountable citing its own self-regulatory mechanisms which are utter failure. Radia tapes and paid news episodes are enough proof of media's intent to take corrective actions! He has reflected the sentiments of millions of people, media has to bear that in mind and refrain from personal attacks.

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 13:47 IST

Precisely explained, no polished gimmicks of politicians and yellow journalists. Lack of control and supervision has undermined and thrown to winds the institution of power and those seemingly delivering the intention of the black forces in this country. Even the children of today mimick the vulgarities projected through visual media with much ease than the learned advice tendered by their parents and teachers. The society itself lacks the charisma to churn out the best ideals and moral values and money and only money holds the key to social acceptance and glamour. Let a powerful visionary be born that the umpteen crores spend on betting to decide the sex of the child born to Aishwarya Rai, be channelised to thwart the hunger and ward off the oppression sweetly granted by goondas and hooligans and glorified with immaculate timing by the morally immoral media. it is not self regulation that matters but setting up high standards to oneself that matters. the best example "THE HINDU"

from:  Harikumar
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 12:11 IST

Excellent article that reminds us the necessity of media to be under regulation.Justice Katju's argument is indisputable.Nobody can experiance absolute freedom but freedom with reasonable restrictions in the greater interest of public.Media is no more superior than any other organs of society.I beleive our media men are intellectually sound enough to understand this fact.In the wake of Neera radia ,paid news scams there is an urgent need to reform the media institutions.As said by justice Katju,it is high time that media should distill out its flaws and play a great role in transforming the society.

from:  Prabhakar Palepu
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 12:08 IST

What an article? It is straight from the depths of a heart that is pure, honest, patriotic, courageous, community conscious etc. Even in the media world, no single individual can be blamed for this. There may be so many "karma yogis" working hard on the "bad media" side. The entire system is to be blamed. Bulls eye - just because it is privatized, the electronic media cannot simply pay their dues to government and opt for self-regulation which essentially means they do not want regulation. Everything cannot be camouglaged under democracy...

from:  Hariharan
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 12:07 IST

Excellent article that reminds us the necessity of media be under regulation.Justice Katju's argument is indisputable.Nobody can experiance absolute freedom but freedom with reasonable restrictions in the greater interest of public.Media is no more superior than any other organs of society.I beleive our media men are intellectually sound enough to understand this fact.In the wake of Neera radia ,paid news scams there is an urgent need to reform the media institutions.As said by justice Katju,it is high time that media should distill out its flaws and play a great role in transforming the society.

from:  Prabhakar Palepu
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 12:06 IST

I think that media should accept the criticism of Mr. Katju."The crisis in the media is not a result of its declining revenues as much its intellectual dishonesty"-Noam Chomsky.

from:  Ranjan Mondal
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 11:48 IST

Yes what Justice Markandey Katju said is absolutely correct, Today in India few section of Media playing completly a neagative role, no one feels responsible to focus issues like poverty, health sanatation etc in the country. And now a days media boss are complicity to the political parties. Take the case of Andhra Prades, all the major news papers and channels are integral part of some political party. They(media) hype an issue which benifite a political party by adding their own analysis and represnt it as a common man perspectivity.

from:  Raghu ram
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 10:55 IST

"liberty does not mean licence to do anything one wishes." Very well said Sir... The standard of news in most of the news channel is so bad. They must be regulate properly.

from:  Rekha
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 10:38 IST

Salute you sir. May I also add that the Indian Broadcast and Print media should help foster friendly ties with the neighbouring countries. At the moment most coverage seems to me like jingoistic chest thumping of indians and indianness. This is can be said about media's dubious role in exaggerating and misrepresenting china and pakistan. It is important that our media does not behave like the likes of FOX being silent spectators of imperialistic designs especially when reporting on foreign afffairs. The experts who sit on such panels are so shallow that sometimes what is their agenda doing so .

from:  Aswin
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 10:34 IST

Well said. There is no news these days. The electronic media fails to cover poverty, agriculture to the depth. They love sports, cinema and court. Infact there is a limit to everything. I hope they will realise this soon and come under a government council and they should be responsible in every aspect.

from:  Saravana Pradeesh
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 09:19 IST

An excellent article, after a long time read and heard and intellect. Its obvious that being an academic achiever doesn't mean that you are intellectual. I support for his words as even there is high resemblance between star plus and star news. The fact that e-media has yet to understand the fact that their duties are far more than bollywood and cricket. I feel as they are opportunist as a business industry looking for profits. We, the young generation look for some foreign channels if we want to hear some NEWS, or we move to newspaper because their content and depth is far better than 24*7 news channels.

from:  Piyush Bharati
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 09:15 IST

Excellent sir. Today the TV media is correpting the people mind and making the people as criminals. In what way the serials, and other shows are useful to the society especially the younger generation. 90% of the shows are ocupied by the cinema. it is most dangerous to the comming generation. No popular channel is educating the people on science, ethics and moral values. All private channels are to be banned.

from:  Thanika
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 07:35 IST

All freedoms are subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest, and are coupled with responsibilities. Very well written article. Hope media and appropriate authorities learn out of this and improve the level of journalism.

from:  harshi
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 07:11 IST

I fully agree with Markandey Katju.

from:  mitesh
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 06:10 IST

Awesome article...Glad to know that there is some one to raise concerns on electronic media...otherwise this electronic media ruin our country and it makes our society more worst than feudal system

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 01:29 IST

Justice Katju may have expressed himself, earlier on, rather too bluntly for the comfort of journalists, however, the substance of his message has not been negated by this fact. The large public support for him has been on account of his sound reason and logical deductions. Whilst the press beats the drum leading the public into so many corridors of powers, it has failed to appreciate we expect the same standards of transparency from them. No doubt, we must be vigilant of how power is exercised by the Press Council( or Media Council, if it comes to that) but that applies to every organ of a democracy. Constant Vigilance is the price we pay for our freedoms and unless we're willing to give that, we may as well import the economically efficient Chinese system of government. If we believe in our own system of enlightened democracy, then efforts like those of Justice Katju to improve accountability in the Media are worth the struggle.

from:  Supriya
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 01:20 IST

Very well explained his position on what he said. Problem in today's Media is that they regard themselves as holy cows and no one talks about cleaning their own mess. Viewership and market ratings are determining factor while reporting a news rather than the Substance and Socio Economic realities. Kudos to "The Hindu" for at least publishing Justice katju's Views and Discussing him.

from:  Vikash
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 01:02 IST
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