Press Council of India to issue white paper on 'paid news'

"We are very much concerned over complaints of media taking money for publishing reports. We are going to issue a white paper on it," PCI Chairman Justice G N Ray told reporters here last night.

"We will talk to people belonging to a cross section of society and collect information for issuing white paper," the former Supreme Court Judge said.Earning profit was important for the media but it should not be in contradiction to the principles of democracy. It also whittles the foundations of journalism, he said.

The spectre of selling news space for money reached "alarming proportions" during the last Lok Sabha elections, resulting in demands of stringent action against the perpetrators since it compromises the essence of a free press.

The Centre too last month had said it was mulling over giving more powers to the PCI to tackle the "paid news syndrome" that was influencing the functioning of a free press.

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