New Delhi: "Self regulation" as practised by the electronic media is a "ploy" to escape accountability, Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Justice Markandey Katju on Wednesday claimed and favoured bringing them under the ambit of the media watchdog.
"Everybody is accountable to people but media people say we should not be accountable. We will practice self regulation...Self regulation is no regulation. It is an oxymoron. It is a deliberate ploy so that there is no regulation," said Katju, speaking at a conference organised at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in the national capital.
The PCI chief said that he had proposed that the Press Council should be expanded to include 20 representatives of the electronic media industry and the body be named as Media Council and wondered what objection people had to this suggestion.
He said that the media often did not highlight the real issues like poverty and malnutrition that the country is facing. Katju said that the media created hype around certain events like the Anna Hazare anti-corruption protests which often did not reach any conclusion.
Katju said that he was the person who had strongly taken up the cause of freedom of expression on several occasions, but was criticised when he said that freedom was coupled with responsibility.
He said that paid news and other evils were widespread yet it was being ignored, adding that he wanted regulation and not control.