- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.
Press Council guidelines to media on poll reporting
What to study?
- For Prelims: About PCI.
- For Mains: Need for and significance of guidelines, the menace of fake news.
Context: The Press Council of India has issued new guidelines, urging the media to do objective reporting on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and cautioning it against the phenomenon of paid news.
- While reporting on the actual campaign, a newspaper may not leave out any important point raised by a candidate and make an attack on his or her opponent.
- The press should avoid reports which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between people on the grounds of region, religion, race, caste, community or language.
- The press should refrain from publishing false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate or in relation to the candidature or withdrawal of any candidate or candidature, to prejudice the prospects of that candidate in the elections.
- The media shall not publish unverified allegations against any candidate or party.
- It should guard against paid news, which it defined as any news or analysis appearing in any form of media, print or electronic, for a price in cash or kind as consideration.
- The authorities should notify rules and orders regulating the entry of the media persons to places of election and the cut-off date for applying for passes should be given due and advance publicity.
- Whenever the newspapers publish pre-poll surveys, they should take care to preface them conspicuously by indicating the institutions that have carried on such surveys, the individuals and organisations that have commissioned them, the size and nature of sample selected and the method of selection of the sample for the findings.
Newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate or party during the elections. It will be the duty of the press to give objective reports about the election and the candidates.