Special Correspondent

`It is for the Press to tell them about their obligations'

  • Invites suggestions to improve coverage of TV channel
  • Describes media as having played a "stellar role"

    NEW DELHI: With just a week to go for the winter session of Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has said that behaviour of MPs, during disruptions and unruly scenes, which was not in consonance with their obligations was unacceptable to the people and the telecast of Lok Sabha proceedings exposed it.

    "We have a participative, thriving Parliamentary democracy. People want good governance from their representatives and Parliament is a forum for redressal of their grievances through discussions and debates. If MPs go wayward and forget their obligations towards the people, it is the duty of the Press to tell it to them. It is needed in our country," Mr. Chatterjee said.

    He was speaking here after releasing a compendium "Self Regulatory Mechanisms for the Media," brought out by the Press Council of India on the eve of the National Press Day.

    The Speaker said it was "essential for the people to know what is happening inside the House and also to know how their representatives are behaving on their behalf." Mr. Chatterjee regretted that there were only 500 seats in the visitors' gallery of the Lok Sabha, adding that live telecast of the proceedings had turned the entire country into visitors' gallery.

    He also invited suggestions to improve coverage of the Lok Sabha television channel, which has launched a series of programmes on issues related to reservation, internal security, agriculture, minorities, foreign policy and judiciary.

    He said that media had been playing a "stellar role" since independence and opposed all kinds of curbs on the freedom of the Press.

    "It is essential for the media to have in place self regulatory mechanisms which should work. There can be no compromise on the freedom of the Press but media's own regulatory system can be worked out," he said.

    Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated a photo exhibition "A Tribute to Photo Journalism," organised by the Press Council of India.