NEW DELHI: The Editors Guild of India has expressed its concern over a recent advisory by the Press Council of India (PCI) cautioning the media on ‘unregulated circulation’ of ‘foreign content’.
The Guild said it was perturbed by the ‘unprovoked advisory and urged the Council to immediately withdraw advisory.
It questioned what the term ‘unregulated circulation’ meant. Several publications in the country have the licence to reproduce content from foreign agencies, newspapers and periodicals and the decision is a prerogative of the editor who is responsible for the published content.
“A reiteration by the Council at this juncture of this established practice in an ominous-sounding advisory, has disturbing implications,” the statement said.
The PCI had said in its advisory that it had considered references from various quarters by the government about the responsibility of Indian newspapers in publishing foreign contents.
The Council said it advised media to publish foreign extracts with due verification or the reporter, publisher and editor of the publication would be responsible for the contents irrespective of the source.
“Through this advisory, it appears that the Council, which swears by self-regulation of media and believes that any government interference would be destructive to press freedom, is lending its weight towards a step that could bring in some form of censorship and punitive actions against those organisations that publish content, which in its view is seen as ‘not desirable’.