Singhvi wants media to have ombudsmen

Terms paid news sheer and straight bribery

Singhvi wants media to have ombudsmen

Think tank:  Press Council India Chairman Justice G N Ray and All India Congress Committee former spokesperson  Abhishek Manu Singhvi at the national symposium on ‘Paid News’ and ‘Pre-Poll Surveys and Exit Polls’ at Vidhana Soudha organised by the Journalists’ Association of Karnataka in Bangalore on Saturday. DH photo

Participating in a symposium on paid news and pre-poll surveys organised by the Journalist Association of Karnataka, Singhvi said the professional ethics and values have changed in the media and new values have emerged.

He said paid news has come up as a new menace which has to be dealt with, for, if the press fails then it will be mockery of the legal system and democracy. He said paid news is nothing but a ‘sheer and straight bribery’.

Page-3 coverage

He also pointed out at the Page-3 coverage where fashion is extensively covered.

“These are all nothing but sponsored stuff,” said Singhvi. He emphasised on the need for an ombudsman to keep a tab on such evils creeping in journalism.

Singhvi wanted a set of guidelines on exit polls, and the Election Commission of India is working on it. Before the Government should initiate any step or intervene, it is better for the media to introspect and bring accountability from within.

Job security

Hitting at the contract system in the media, Singhvi said the job security is in danger whereas under the existing laws it is a binding on newspaper management to give job security to the employees.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson of the Press Council of India Justice G N Ray said media reflects society. It should be corruption-free, but paid news has emerged as a major threat. Media should be free from biases and tilt to build a strong democracy.

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