Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), on the occasion of the forthcoming National Press Day on November 16, raised voice for a powerful media council in India comprising both the print (newspaper) and electronic media. The empowered media council, in the line of Press Council of India (PCI) which emerged on November 16 of 1966, should work as a moral watchdog to ensure the press/media freedom as well as quality journalism in the country, said a statement issued by the JFA. Officially speaking, the National Press Day symbolizes a free and responsible press in India. On this day, the Indian press council started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.
“India today supports over 800 satellite channels, half of those are news based, with thousands of FM and alternate media outlets. As the PCI has no authority over the electronic media, we would like to urge the Union government for empowering the council and renaming it as Media Council of India,” added the statement signed by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
Mentionable is that the Union government has already reconstituted the PCI for the next three year term though the name of the chairman is yet to be declared. If the PCI has to function under the present structure till the completion of the term, the JFA argued, India should think about a separate council for the electronic media at the earliest.