Journalist safety and recommendation by Parliamentary Committee.
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Journalist safety and recommendation by Parliamentary Committee.

Journalist Safety And Recommendation by Parliamentary Committee.

Journalist Safety And Recommendation by Parliamentary Committee.

A journalist was striped, at a police station on April 8, in Madhya Pradesh. The Journalist accused the police of manhandling and beating him. Taking cognizance of the matter, the Madhya Pradesh government has ordered an internal inquiry into the incident.

Last year (2021) during the budget session on February second Omprakash Bhupalsinh, Hemant Pati, Bahrutruhari Mahtab, Rahul Ramesh Shewale had sought a reply from the government in the Lok Sabha on ‘whether the existing laws for the safety/protection of journalists are adequate, keeping in view the rising crimes against journalist in the country?

To which the minister of state in the Ministry of Home Affairs had replied: “The existing laws for the protection of citizens also cover journalists. Police and public order are state subject under the seventh schedule of the constitution and the state government is responsible for it.

The Minister in his reply had further said, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) does not maintain any separate data on the security of journalists. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued several advisories, an advisory specifically on the safety of journalists was issued on 20th October 2017 requesting them to strictly enforce the laws to ensure the safety and security of medical persons.

The Press Council of India, a statutory body to regulate print media and take actions and suo-moto cognizance of complaints had dealt with 32 cases in 2015-16, 16 cases in 2016-17, 23 cases in 2017-18, 15 cases in 2018-19, and 09 cases in 2020-21.

A Parliamentary Commission on Petition had presented its report, on “Introducing reforms in Journalism in the country and other important issues related therewith” headed by Dr Virendra Kumar on eight In Lok Sabha on 8th February during the budget session in 2021, The Committee had said in its report; ‘The Journalists are frequently targeted by the criminals and anti-social elements and face attacks and threats, there is need to ensure their safety by taking appropriate measures such as formulating a law for the protection of Journalists. ‘

The Committee had further recommended that there is a need for taking steps for imparting to make the media persons aware of their safety by supporting media organizations.

The Petition Committee in its report had further made a case for setting up of Media helpline at the National and State level, the committee in its report had argued – There is need for establishing a ‘Media helpline’ at the national and state level to help media persons/establishments facing threats and stacks so as to ensure prompt action in such matter, and to create a more working environment with more freedom and independence.

The Committee in its other recommendations had recommended ‘setting up of Media Commission and converting the Press Council of India into the Media Council of India. The Committee had mandated Media Commission to study and redefine online and social media.

The Committee for the Social and Financial Security of Senior Citizen Journalists had recommended framing of National Pension Scheme, in consultation with the organization of working journalists professionals, for all working journalists with a view to providing them with the social and financial security.

 


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