Andhra Pradesh

‘Biased campaign by media houses unacceptable’

Secretaries of departments concerned will take a call, says Minister

I&PR Minister Perni Venkataramaiah on Thursday said that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure authentic reports in the media.

Referring to some reports and the subsequent Cabinet decision a day before, Mr. Venkataramaiah said some media houses were publishing adverse reports against the government without an iota of evidence and with ulterior motives. It was not acceptable as such unethical practices were ultimately harmful to public interest, he observed.

What Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting decided was to delegate the power to sue the media organisations for publication and telecast of baseless reports, to the Secretaries of various departments instead of limiting it to the Commissioner of I&PR.

Making the government’s stand clear on giving powers to the Secretaries to take to legal recourse against media houses for publishing and telecasting false and baseless reports, at a press conference on Thursday, Mr. Venkataramaiah said the government’s version was not being taken along with the reports resulting in the projection of only one side of a story or development.

He insisted that the news pertaining to various government departments should be accurate without any distortion, slant or prejudice. The government had earlier empowered the I&PR Commissioner to handle any distortion or news published with mala fide intentions and take it to a logical conclusion.

Due process

The Commissioner was entitled to follow the due process like issuing a rejoinder seeking corrections to be given the same prominence as the wrongly published or televised news, including the placement and time slots. If such procedures failed to get the desired response, the Commissioner would move court by filing cases as per the applicable sections of law. This decision was taken as the Secretaries were better placed in monitoring the news, picking up the distortions, giving rejoinders and taking it to a conclusion. It was, therefore, nothing but an extension of the existing practice and has only expanded the scope by roping in Secretaries concerned.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 10:33:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/biased-campaign-by-media-houses-unacceptable/article29728992.ece

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