Editors Guild tells Speaker to scrap panel to rein in media

The Editors Guild of India on Friday called upon the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly to immediately rescind the decision to set up a joint House committee to study the “adverse reporting" by print and electronic media and suggest ways to "control" media coverage.

In a statement, the Guild expressed shock and dismay over the decision saying that it is a clear violation of the freedom of press guaranteed through the Freedom of Expression under Article 19 of the Constitution. "Such a Committee and its mandate given by the Speaker are unconstitutional and illegal, violating the solemn provision of the Constitution," the Guild said.

It said the Committee’s main purpose seems to bring the media under the control of the legislature, so that any media organisation or individual held guilty of adverse reporting would face the penal consequences.

The Guild held that the legislature of a state cannot usurp these powers  to "control the media", due to grievances of a few members. The Guild also called upon the media in Karnataka to follow the guidelines enumerated in the Guild's Code of Practice for media organisations and journalists.

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