Excerpts from a writeup by Arakere Jayaram
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"The Home Minister Dr.V.S.Acharya's proposal for setting up a media ombudsman was unfortunately never debated"
"Those watching the media scene in Karnataka recall the bitter debate over the now forgotten move of the Ramakrishna Hegde government to introduce a Bill on freedom of the press. In 1988, the Hegde government had introduced the Karnataka Freedom of Press Bill which in fact was very much in favour of the freedom of the press. It in fact included the right to information for journalists. The Bill had aimed at providing immunity to journalists from disclosure of source of information, right of access to public documents and provided penalty for causing hurt etc. with the intention of preventing any journalist from performing his duties. Those were the days when the newspapers reigned supreme and there were no private television channels."
"Apparently Dr.Acharya is not the first one to talk of some regulation of the media, whose freedom he has rightly said is not limitless. The Minister, a veteran politician of the State was a member of the Janata Party which in 1977 removed the shackles on the press imposed by the Congress government in the days of the Emergency. Let it be remembered that the very first amendment to the Indian Constitution had among other things imposed some restrictions on the Freedom of Speech and Expression which includes Freedom of the press. The Congress Party has a questionable record when it comes to safeguarding the freedom of the press."
"Questions about how the private TV channels are respecting the freedom are raised when it is observed that they had accompanied the Sri Rama Sene activists even at Belgaum on Feburary 14 when a Valentine's Day party was disrupted. They had done so at the time of the attack on the pub in Mangalore. The private TV channels in Tamil Nadu are no better. They covered live the brutal fight in the Madras Law College hostel some months ago involving students belonging to Dalit and Thevar caste groups. In none of the incidents the channels tipped off the police about the intentions of those who had invited them to "catch them live".
V V: The truth about media errors