INS slams PCI biased selection process
New Delhi: The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) on Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to turn down the I and B ministry's stringent guidelines to check fake news and also expressed anguish over the Press Council of India's "biased" selection of new members.
The apex body of the print media industry said it strongly disapproved of the "strategic manipulation" of the process of nominations for the Press Council of India, which is headed by Justice (retd) CK Prasad.
It said in a statement that it was "anguished over the recent unreasonable and biased decision of the Chairman, PCI, while selecting the names of persons to be nominated as members for a fresh term".
The Press Council of India, a statutory body that acts as a watchdog to oversee conduct of the print media, was reconstituted for three years in October 2014. Though its term ended in October last year, it is learnt that the panel has been reconstituted but the official notification is yet to be issued.
The INS said the entire process to nominate new members displayed a "lack of understanding of the PCI Act and RNI Act", a reference to the Press Council of India and the Registrar of Newspapers for India.
"It is imperative that mature responsibility and neutrality is now displayed, even at this late stage, to restore the credibility, impartiality and prestige of the Press Council of India," it said in the statement.
The statement also welcomed the prime minister's intervention in forcing the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to withdraw the "stringent guidelines" on fake news.