Press Council of India

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    3rd Sep, 2019

The Press Council of India had described the ban on communication and free movement in Jammu and Kashmir as being in the interest of the integrity and sovereignty of the nation. While on the other hand, the ban has severely affected the functioning of the press in J&K.

Context

The Press Council of India had described the ban on communication and free movement in Jammu and Kashmir as being in the interest of the integrity and sovereignty of the nation. While on the other hand, the ban has severely affected the functioning of the press in J&K.

About

Press Council of India

  • It was first set up in the year 1966 by the Parliament on the recommendations of the First Press Commission with the object of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of press in India.
  • The present Council functions under the Press Council Act, 1978.
  • It is a statutory, quasi judicial authority functioning as a watchdog of the press, for the press and by the press.
  • It adjudicates the complaints against and by the press for violation of ethics and for violation of the freedom of the press respectively.

Composition

  • The Press Council is headed by a Chairman, who has by convention, been a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The Council consists of 28 other members of whom 20 represent the press and are nominated by the press organisations/news agencies recognised and notified by the Council as all India bodies of categories such as editors, working journalists and owners and managers of newspaper and news agencies, five members are nominated from the two Houses of Parliament and three represent cultural, literary and legal fields as nominees of the Sahitya Academy, University Grants Commission and the Bar Council of India.
  • The members serve on the Council for a term of three years.
  • A retiring member shall be eligible for renomination for not more than one term. (max 2 consecutive terms)

FUNDING

  • The Council is funded by the revenue collected by it as fee levied on the registered newspapers in the country on the basis of their circulation.
  • No fee is levied on newspapers with circulation less than 5000 copies. The deficit is made good by way of grant by the Central Government.

Functions

The important functions of the Council are:

  • to help newspapers and news agencies to maintain their independence,
  • to build up a code of conduct for newspapers, news agencies and journalists,
  • to keep under review any development likely to restrict supply and dissemination of news of public interest and importance.
  • To concern itself with the developments such as concentration of or other aspects of ownership of newspapers and news agencies which may effect the independence of the press.

Limitations

The powers of the PCI are restricted in two ways.

  1. The PCI has limited powers of enforcing the guidelines issued. It cannot penalize newspapers, news agencies, editors and journalists for violation of the guidelines. 
  2. The PCI only overviews the functioning of press media. That is, it can enforce standards upon newspapers, journals, magazines and other forms of print media.  It does not have the power to review the functioning of the electronic media like radio, television and internet media.

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