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Press council of India


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Press Council of India

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Press council of India

  1. 1. BY Rudranil Sengupta PRESS COUNCIL OF INDIA
  2. 2. Knowing Press Council In Brief
  3. 3. What Is Press Council  The Press Council Of India is a statutory body in India that governs the conduct of the print and broadcast media. It is one of the most important bodies that sustain democracy, as it has supreme power in regards to the media to ensure that freedom of speech is maintained. However, it is also empowered to hold hearings on receipt of complaints and take suitable action where appropriate. It may either warn or censure the errant journalists on finding them guilty. For Example--- It did so on 21 July, 2006, when it censured three newspapers — Times of India.Punjab Kesri and Mid Day for violation of norms of journalistic conduct. The press council of India is protected by the constitution and its actions may not be questioned unless it is proved to be in violation of the constitution, which makes it exceedingly powerful a body.
  4. 4. ORIGIN  Sweden is the first country to form Press Council - 1916.It was called the Court of Law  At present there are about 40 countries that have their own Press Council.  In all countries except Italy and Holland ,Press Councils have been voluntarily set up  The Functions and Powers of Press Councils of various countries are found to differ.  In USA ,guidelines of the Press Council are made in consultation with the legal experts.  In UK,The Press Council is formed by journalists , academicians etc.It is not a statutory body and has no legal power
  5. 5. Powers, Practice and Procedure  The Press Council of India was first set up in the year 1966 by the Parliament on the recommendations of the First Press Commission with the object of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of press in India. The present Council functions under the Press Council Act 1978. It is a statutory, quasi judicial body which acts as a watchdog of the press. It adjudicates the complaints against and by the press for violation of ethics and for violation of the freedom of the press respectively.
  6. 6. The Press Council is headed by a Chairman, who has, by convention, been a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. The Council consists of 28 other members of whom 20 represent the press and are nominated by the press organisations/news agencies recognised and notified by the Council as all India bodies of categories such as editors, working journalists and owners and managers of newspaper; 5 members are nominated from the two houses of Parliament and 3 represent cultural, literary and legal fields as nominees of the Sahitya Academy, University Grants Commission and the Bar Council of India. The members serve on the Council for a term of three years. The Council was last reconstituted on May 22, 2001. The present Chairman is Ganendra Narayan Ray.  The Council is funded by revenue collected by it as fees levied on the registered newspapers in the country on the basis of their circulation. No fee is levied on newspapers with a circulation of less than 5000 copies.
  7. 7. THE FRAMEWORK  Term -3 yrs  Constitution of the Press Council –  Total members -28  Chairman -01.The chairman is always a retired judge of the Supreme Court. He is nominated by a committee consisting of the chairman of Rajya Sabha,Speaker of Lok Sabha,and one elected representative of council member.  Among the 28 members –  a.Working Journalists (6 editors of newspapers,7 working journalists other than editors) - : 13  b. From Management , big , medium and small newspapers : 06  c.News Agencies :01  d.Members of Parliament nominated by speaker of Lok Sabha :05  (3 from Lok sabha and 2 from Rajya Sabha)  e.Persons having special knowledge or practical experience in the following fields  a.Education and Science(nominated by UGC) :01
  8. 8. Press Council Act 1978 An act to establish a council for the purpose of preserving the freedom of The Press and maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in
  9. 9. FUNCTIONS The Council may in furtherance of its objects , perform the following functions namely –  To help newspapers and news agencies to maintain their independence  To build up a code of conduct for newspapers ,news agencies and journalists in accordance with high professional standards.  to ensure on the part of the newspapers ,news agencies and journalists,the maintainance of high standards of public taste and foster a due sense of both rights and responsibilities of citizenship.  To encourage the growth of the sense of responsibility and public service among all those engaged in the profession of journalism  To keep under review any development likely to restrict the supply and dessimination of news of public intrest and importance.  To keep under review cases of assistance received by any newspaper or news agency in India from any foreign source including such cases as by an individual , association , of persons or other organization
  10. 10.  To undertake studies of foreign newspapers ,including those brought out by any embassy or other representative in India of foreign state , their circulation and impact.  To promote a proper functional relationship among all classes of persons engaged in the production or publication of newspapers or in news agencies.  To concern itself with the developments such as concentration of or other aspects of ownership of newspapers and news agencies which may affect the independence of the Press and  To understand such studies as may be entrusted to the Council and to express its opinion in regard to any matter referred to it by the Central Government.
  11. 11. Cases Handled Last one year :  Complaints received -8939 (out of which 6246 were against the press)  Major Complaints against the press–  P ublication of unverified and abusive language  Printing of obscene pictures  Communal and Casteist writings  Attempts to inflame communal passion  Refusal to publish replies  Encroachment on privacy  Distorted and Prejudiced reporting  Suppression of facts  Sensationl and misleading headings  Malicious reporting and writing
  12. 12. CASE STUDIES Case 1 S.No. F.No.13/114/04-05-PCI. Shri Ramji Prasad Gupta, Editor/Publisher, Gorakhpur Mail, Gorakhpur (U.P.). Versus 1.The Chief Secretary, Government of U.P., Lucknow. 2 The Secretary, Home (Police) Department, Government of U.P., Lucknow. 3 The Superintendent of Police, Gorakhpur (U.P.).
  13. 13. Complaint This complaint dated 25.11.2004 has been filed by Shri Ramji Prasad Gupta, Editor/Publisher, Gorakhpur Mail, Gorakhpur (U.P.) against Shri P.K. Singh, Station House Officer, Police Station Dharamshala Bazar, Gorakhpur (U.P.) for alleged threats due to the publication of critical news items against the local police, highlighting their irregularities and inefficiency. The respondent also filed false cases and threatened him and his family, added the complainant. He alleged that due to the atrocities of the respondent, he could not perform his duty efficiently. Comments of the State Government of U.P. through Chief Secretary; Secretary Home (Police) Department; and Superintendent of Police, Gorakhpur were invited on 9.2.2005.
  14. 14. Counter comments The complainant vide his letter dated 25.4.2005 informed the Council that he was being threatened by the local police and sought the transfer of the SHO, Dharmshala Bazar, Gorakhpur. Appearance before the Inquiry Committee The matter was called out for hearing before the Inquiry Committee at New Delhi on 28.4.2005. Shri Jawahar Lal Nigam appeared for the complainant while Shri Durga Dutt Singh, represented the respondent police authorities.
  15. 15. Proceedings before the Inquiry Committee The representative of the complainant stated that due to publication of critical news reports against the police, the police was harassing the complainant. He was being pressurised to withdraw the complaint. He was also getting threats that he would be entangled in false cases. Due to this, he added that the complainant was unable to perform his journalistic duties. Shri Durga Dutt appearing for the respondent authorities denied the allegations of the complainant. He pleaded that on 16.11.2004 a minor girl was abducted and raped. The accused was complainant’s son. Medical examination was done. The case was pending in the court. In this regard the complainant published a news report just to defame the family of the girl. They filed a case and the police was not favouring any party to that case. The complainant’s representative countering the statement of the respondent stated that the girl as abducted on 16.11.2004 but the FIR was registered only on 1.12.2004. All the witnesses in the case were of police. The news was published after proper investigation and the case was registered after publication of the critical reports against the police.
  16. 16. Recommendations of the Inquiry Committee The Inquiry Committee considered the material on record and the oral submissions of the parties. The Committee noted that the issue relating to abduction of a girl and her rape and the involvement of complainant’s son therein was sub-judice. The Committee was therefore, not competent to go into the issue. However, it noted that the complainant had submitted that after the publication of critical news against the police he was getting constant threats and he apprehended danger to his and his family’s life. The Committee, observed that complainant’s discharge of his journalistic function was in no way related to the criminal case. Therefore, the Committee recommended to the Council to direct the police authorities to ensure security of the complainant to enable him to perform his journalistic duties freely and fearlessly. The Council may be informed of the steps taken by the Government to this end with three weeks of the receipt of the adjudication. Decision of the Council The Press Council, on consideration of the records of the case and report of the Inquiry Committee accepts the reasons, findings and the recommendation of the Committee and decides accordingly.
  17. 17. CASE 2 Press Council of India pulls up four publications For publishing unethical and irresponsible write-ups  NEW DELHI: Four publications have been pulled up by the Press Council of India (PCI) for publishing "unethical and irresponsible write-ups without verifying the facts and for violation of the norms of journalistic conduct."  While Dainik Bhaskar (Gurgaon) and the Agra- based Hindi weekly Rozgar Sangrah were "warned" by the PCI, Times of India (Hyderabad) and the Kannada monthly Mathukathe were admonished. In the case of the Times of India, the Council admonished it for publishing a baseless report.
  18. 18.  A similar observation was made in the case of Dainik Bhaskar for publishing a "false, malicious, mischievous and defamatory news report with the motive of defaming and degrading the reputation of the Government Women's College, Gurgaon, its principal and staff".  Taking a grim view of the fact that the paper did not publish the clarification of the complainant, the Council directed the respondent editor to publish the clarification without any counter allegations. Mathukathe was admonished for violating journalistic ethics by publishing libellous material aimed at denigrating the complainant, Paul G.D. Cunha, by using foul language.  According to the Council, the magazine editor not only failed to exercise his editorial discretion by cutting out and editing the libellous statement but also did not observe the statutory norms of journalistic conduct on pre-publication verification.  Rozgar Sangrah was found guilty of publishing an unauthorised advertisement on appointment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Uttar Pradesh Bhoomi