How media in India is regulated?

The media in India is mostly self-regulated. The existing bodies for regulation of media such as the Press Council of India, which is a statutory body, and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, a self-regulatory organisation, issue standards which are more in the nature of guidelines.

Recently, the chairman of the Press Council of India, former judge of the Supreme Court, M Katju, has argued that television and radio need to be brought within the scope of the Press Council of India or a similar regulatory body.

Here is an FAQ on the present model of regulation of different forms of media.

What is the Press Council of India?

The PCI was established under the PCI Act of 1978 for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.

What is the composition of the PCI and who appoints the members?

The PCI consists of a chairman and 28 other members. The chairman is selected by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the chairman of the Rajya Sabha and a member elected by the PCI.

The members consist of three Lok Sabha members, two members of the Rajya Sabha, six editors of newspapers, seven working journalists other than editors of newspapers, six persons in the business of managing newspapers, one person who is engaged in the business of managing news agencies, and three persons with special knowledge of public life.

What are its functions?

The functions of the PCI include among others (i) helping newspapers maintain their independence; (ii) build a code of conduct for journalists and news agencies; (iii) help maintain “high standards of public taste” and foster responsibility among citizens; and (iv) review developments likely to restrict flow of news.