Press Council of India (PCI) proposes to depute its members to monitor paid news in states going to polls this year, its chairman Justice (retd) C K Prasad said on Tuesday. Paid news has become a menace threatening the life blood of Indian journalism and must be combated with robust editorial control, Prasad said addressing a seminar organised by Tripura Journalist Union (TJU) at Agartala. “Paid news not only undermines journalism but also threatens our democratic process,” he said, adding editors must strongly assert their independence and regulate media output if the menace has to be fought.
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“They (editors) must resist ownership pressure for promoting paid news for revenue augmentation and they must also check corrupt journalists from running paid news,” he said. He said he was for putting Press Council members on media monitoring committees in states that will go to polls this year.
“They (PCI members) will monitor paid news content during the polls and do their best to check it. The Election Commission has asked for creation of media monitoring committees in all states and we want our PCI members on these committees that are going to polls,” he said.
Press Council members Ravindra Kumar and Krishna Prasad, both senior editors, strongly backed Justice (retd) Prasad’s efforts to fight the menace of paid news.