UPA doesn’t want to impose any model on media

New Delhi, Aug 6: The government doesn’t want to impose any model on the media and its policy is based on “persuasion rather than regulation”, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Tuesday.

Taking part in a seminar on need for media regulation, he said: “The question we need to ask ourselves is that do we refine the existing model for media regulation or we look for a new model. Government doesn’t want to impose any model.

“Our (UPA government’s) philosophy is that our relationship with the media must not be regulated,” Tewari said at the discussion organised by the Observer Research Foundation.

“When I came to this job, my prime minister told me one thing very clearly. The philosophy of UPA is that our relationship with the media must be an essay in persuasion and never an essay in regulation.”

Speaking in the context of self-regulation mechanisms with statutory backing, Tewari said it had to be assessed whether such mechanisms were sufficient.

Press Council of India chairperson Markandey Katju sought a “statutory peer review with a power to punish”.

He said he always stood for freedom of the press and his views were often misunderstood. He said he had suggested a media council of which 80-90 percent members would be from the media.

Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) chairman Justice A.P. Shah said a way to ensure freedom of the media was to have a mechanism which would not allow the government to get an excuse to step in.

“I would suggest statutory creation of a self-regulatory body by a statute, in which all the appointments should be through a very independent mechanism, including the chairperson of such a self-regulatory body. The self-regulatory body should frame the norms,” he said.

IANS