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Press Council of India decides to evolve guidelines for news reporting of terror attacks

Press Council of India decides to evolve guidelines for news reporting of terror attacks
Running for coverage: Members of the media take cover during a gunbattle at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai November 29. Photo: Reuters

The Press Council of India (PCI) has said it would involve stakeholders on evolving guidelines on media coverage of events like the Mumbai terror attack.

Council chairman, Justice GN Ray, said in New Delhi on December 15 that PCI would organise a seminar, tentatively scheduled for January next year, in which representatives from the media, government and armed forces and others would participate and discuss what they expected from each other during such situations.

The council had taken suo motu cognisance of complaints appearing in media (on coverage of terror strikes), he said. "Some mistakes were made by the media, especially the electronic media, giving live reports.... But they were done unwittingly. No reporter would have intended to do so but cetain mistakes cannot be allowed to be repeated and the council would, therefore, like to formulate guidelines in this regard," Ray said.

These guidelines would ensure transparency of reporting and presenting facts but at the same time it would also cover areas of strategic importance in such events that ought not to be publicised, he said. "The coverage should in no way hamper (defence/police) operations," Ray said.

However, he warned against any legislation gagging the media and said journalists, like other citizens, had the right to excercise freedom of expression. "The Press Council of India always stands for press freedom. Only, there should be some restraint even while reporting other sensational incidents," Ray said.

Date posted: December 19, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 781