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Katju slams two dailies in AP

Katju slams two dailies in AP
Highlights

PCI chief orders criminal cases against a Telugu daily Asks a national English daily to publish a rejoinder prominently Separate state of...

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  • PCI chief orders criminal cases against a Telugu daily
  • Asks a national English daily to publish a rejoinder prominently
  • Separate state of Telangana demand only to make someone CM or Ministers

Hyderabad: The Press Council of India (PCI) on Friday passed highly critical remarks against a Telugu vernacular daily and also found fault with the Hyderabad edition of a national English daily.

After disposing of 19 cases on the day, PCI chairperson Justice Markandey Katju also passed a critical remark on the demand for Telangana. Statehood. Speaking to a vernacular news channel, he said that the demand for T State was improper and unjustified. He observed that there had been no discrimination of any sort against the Telangana people in the recent decades. The Press Council of India (PCI) on Friday passed highly critical remarks against a Telugu vernacular daily and also found fault with the Hyderabad edition of a national English daily.

Taking note of a defamatory report in the Telugu daily, PCI chairperson Justice Markandey Katju ordered the PCI staff to refer such cases to city criminal courts and also send details to the Registrar of Newspapers to examine if the licence of the newspaper could be cancelled or suspended.

In the case of the English daily, he said it reported certain allegations, without verifying facts, against IAS officer V Usha Rani when she was the Commissioner and Director of Agriculture. He noted that the paper even refused to publish a rejoinder, and directed the newspaper to publish a rejoinder and offer an apology and put it up prominently.

In a case pertaining to a Tamil daily, Justice Katju directed the government to arrest 30 police officials who had harassed the editor of the newspaper. He said the Chief Minister had to administer as per law or step down.

Emphasising on the need for quality reportage in the country, Justice Katju said that a minimum qualification should be prescribed to become a journalist. Talking to the media after holding a meeting of the inquiry committee of the PCI on Friday, Katju said that when people with little or inadequate training in journalism enter the profession it would lead to fall in standards and most of the time they failed to uphold journalistic ethics. "Gone are the days when a trade used to be transferred from a father to his son. We had some great Hakims and Ayurvedic doctors in the past, where knowledge was passed from father to son but situation is different now," he explained.

He remarked that it is an era of specialisation, journalism which has become a major profession too should have minimum qualifications. Katju said in the past there were some great journalists who did not have any formal training, but such instances were few and most often they ended up having 'mediocre' journalists. "This weighed in my mind and so I felt that some qualification and training for journalists should be necessary," he reiterated.

He said a committee consisting of PCI members Shravan Garg, Rajeev Sabade and Dr Ujjwala Barve would talk to the stakeholders and come up with a report soon. The report he said would be sent to the government and it was for the Government of India to decide to bring in a law or not.A When asked to comment on the present journalistic standards, Katju said that it was a fact that the standards were falling down. The journalists are poorly paid and hence they look towards alternate sources of income.

They do not have job security and this also affects their independence while reporting. "If I have no job security, I will not be able to speak my mind as openly as I do now," he added.A Shravan Garg who heads the inquiry committee said that the committee would also examine the functioning of the existing institutes which offer courses in journalism and see what changes need to be made. There should be an apex body to supervise these institutions so that quality training can be offered by them, he advised.

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