New Delhi, April 7: Expressing “grave” concern over flouting of procedure while reconstituting the 13th Press Council of India (PCI), various media associations on Saturday jointly demanded the government to intervene to restore the credibility of the organisation.
Accusing the PCI Chairman of overlooking precedents and adopting a process to keep out certain media associations and candidates, they demanded that the proposed meeting of the “truncated Press Council” be deferred till the full council is reconstituted.
“PCI Chairman had called a meeting of the reconstituted council with only eight members — five MPs and three official nominees — out of 28 members, leaving out the rest of the representatives of the print media organisations as their names are yet to be notified and the Press Council reconstitution is still under way,” a joint statement by as many as eight media organisations said.
The print media organisations held a joint meeting on Saturday to discuss situation arising out of PCI Chairman’s actions in reconstituting the 13th Press Council.
They said that PCI Chairman’s overlooking of precedents and flouting procedure had “cast serious doubts over the autonomy and neutrality of the council, which is mandated to preserve and protect the freedom of the press”.
“The meeting demanded the government should intervene to restore the credibility and sanctity of the Press Council of India. This will go a long way in demonstrating the will of the government to protect and preserve the freedom of the press, vital to any democracy,” the joint statement said.
The organisations present in the meeting included All India Newspaper Editors Conference, Indian Journalists Union, Indian Newspaper Society, Working News Cameramen Association, Hindi Samachar Patr Sammelan, National Union of Journalists (India), All India Small and Medium Newspapers Federation and Press Association.