Media shouldn't cross 'limits': SHRC member

Media shouldn't cross 'limits': SHRC member

While the terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly magazine, Charlie Hebdo has sparked a global debate on free speech, member of State Human Rights Commission, Chandrashekar G Hunagund, wondered whether the attack was due to media “crossing its limits.”

Speaking at the valedictory of a refresher course on ‘Human Rights’, at UGC-Academic Staff College, he said that the terrorist attack which left 12 people dead could not be justified in any manner. While the attack should be condemned vociferously, discussions should also explore the limits of media, and whether it has been crossing its limits, he said.

“Contemporary media organisations have failed to understand the limits of free speech. In the media, allegations are highlighted more than healthy criticism.

Personal attacks on people, while reporting issues are on a rise. Media organisations should exercise restraint and self-censorship, if an issue is certain to hurt the sentiments of communities,” he said.  

He said that non-governmental organisations and the media acted as eyes and ears of the Human Rights Commission and were key factors in highlighting the problems faced by the society. “However, in the 21st century it has become difficult to determine what will be broadcasted as news by media organisations,” he said.

Aiming his ire at the electronic media, he said that the media has violated the rights of privacy of several individuals.

He said that the media should avoid hurting the sentiments of either religious communities or individuals and disseminate information in a fair, unbiased manner.