Plan afoot to rope in UK judge to check paid news

Henry is presently the Judge of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and living with his family in Hampstead Garden Suburb in UK. The ‘Murdochgate’ has revealed that News of the World owned by Rupert Murdoch had accessed to call details of some of the sensitive cases involving the members of the royal family.

A ministry sources said, ‘We are concerned with the malpractice in some of the media houses in terms of paid news in India and will soon seek suggestions from Henry for his report during the Murdochgate.’

He said, ‘A meeting has already done with senior bureaucrats of the ministry in Delhi. If required a team will meet him (Henry) personally for his suggestions and guidance to curb the ill practice.’

It was learnt that the Press Council of India (PCI), from 2009 to 2013 have received nearly 40 cases of ‘Paid News’. Out of nearly 40, only in 17 cases the concerned companies were warned. ‘Some of the cases happened during the 2009 General Election,’ the ministry official said.

There was a long pending demand for considering Henry chalk out plans to streamline media from deviating from its ethics and practices. Earlier, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology in their report expressed concern over the ministry that they have failed to conducted any study to evaluate the mechanism adopted by other countries to tackle the menace the ‘Paid News’. The Committee has also asked the ministry to consider the recommendation and the development associated with the Leveson report while dealing with the issue.

On the context of areas in which the Ministry will seek suggestions from Henry, he said, ‘The areas will be similar to his suggestions, which he gave in Murdochgate including protecting journalists, access to information, media employment, press and politics, media ownership, etc.’
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