Post-Mangalore,Karnataka plans media ombudsman

In the light of media reporting on moral vigilantism by the right-wing groups in Mangalore,the state BJP Government proposes to appoint a media ombudsman....

Written by Express News Service | Bangalore | Published:February 10, 2009 11:01 pm

In the light of media reporting on moral vigilantism by the right-wing groups in Mangalore,the state BJP Government proposes to appoint a media ombudsman to screen reports “lacking in objectivity”.

Home Minister V S Acharya,echoing the views of a section in Mangalore who say media coverage of the January 24 assault on women at a pub has caused great damage to the reputation of Mangalore,at a peace meeting in Mangalore on Sunday said his government would consider a policy to keep media “within a Lakshman Rekha”.

“An ombudsman will screen media reports for objectivity and entertain complaints of the public. The media must not go overboard in projecting incidents,” Acharya said.

District-in-charge Minister Krishna Palemar said,“Mangalore has been projected in a poor light across the world by the media.”

However,the Home Minister’s proposal came in for criticism,with district secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) B Madhava calling the proposal a “fascist move” intended to prevent the media from reporting freely and fairly.

A representative of the Mangalore Catholics said the Government must concentrate on putting down vigilantism instead of attacking the media’s prerogative to overplay or underplay an incident.

The Karnataka Chief Minister,meanwhile,has tried to deflect criticism of his Government by pointing fingers at Union Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury. B S Yeddyurappa on Monday said he would request Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to rein in Chowdhury,who has been “unleashing baseless charges against the state Government”.

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