More powers to PCI likely

VISAKHAPATNAM, AUG. 14. A proposal is on the anvil to provide more teeth to the Press Council of India (PCI) to discipline recalcitrant newspapers, which are violating the accepted norms of publication of news and views, its Chairman, K. Jayachandra Reddy, revealed here on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference, he said that the Press Council of India Act was likely to be amended in such a way that it could go beyond warnings, reprimands and censures it had been dispensing against newspapers and journals found guilty of impropriety. "The PCI will then be able to recommend cancellation of the registration of such newspapers after three censures," he elaborated.

Violation of norms

He was unhappy that during the Gujarat carnage, some newspapers in that State published reports in such a way that it fomented further communal riots. The PCI had censured `Gujarat Samachar' and 'Sandesh' for their repeated violation of norms in spite of warnings, he pointed out. Another proposal was to stop the advertisements issued to such newspapers by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity of the Union Government. Mr. Reddy had a word of praise for newspapers and journals, numbering 1,000, published from the State for their restrained reportage and comments. "There have been very few complaints against these papers," he said.

Media council

He regretted that the commercial content of newspapers was on the increase because of increasing consumerism. Asked about the functioning of electronic media, particularly TV channels, he replied that the PCI looked after only complaints against the print media.

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