Information and Broadcasting Ministry seeks exam for Journos - The New Indian Express

Information and Broadcasting Ministry seeks exam for Journos

Published: 20th August 2013 10:59 AM

Last Updated: 20th August 2013 10:59 AM

Journalists, like lawyers, could too have to obtain license to practise their profession, if the idea mooted by Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari was to ever take shape.

Speaking at a function, the minister said, “I think a good starting point would be that rather than possibly prescribing a curricula which is then standardised across institutions, possibly the media industry could think about at least having a common exam.”

“Like you have a bar exam, you have a medical exam or exams which are conducted by other professional bodies, which then issue a license, which enables you to pursue your profession,” Tewari said.

The minister’s view came at a time when even the Press Council of India Chairman Markanday Katju had suggested minimum qualification to become a journalist.

 Katju’s idea had come under intense debate, as many media professionals felt no minimum qualification can be prescribed.

Regarding the issue of standards within media education, the I&B Minister  said, “the Indian Institute of Mass Communication has been advised to initiate a course on the business of media, preferably a Masters Degree in the business of the Media. This programme could prepare young professionals to address the business imperatives in the media sectors more cohesively.”

Tewari spoke in favour of standardised quality of media education to curb ‘fly-by-night’ operators. Tewari also spoke about a ‘fundamental ambiguity’ regarding classification of media as to whether it a business under article 19(1)(g)(Freedom to Practice Any Profession) of the Constitution or any other activity which is entitled to the protection of article 19(1)(a)(Freedom of Speech and Expression). A layoff taking place in a news channel, last week, led him to conclude ‘media is a business

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