MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA
Congress firmly believes that the media must be free and self-regulated.
- In recent times, sections of the media have abused or surrendered their freedom. Nevertheless, we believe that self-regulation is the best way to correct the abuse of media freedom. Congress promises to amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to strengthen the system of self-regulation, protect the freedom of journalists, uphold editorial independence and guard against government interference.
- Congress will amend the Press Council of India Act to empower the Council to deal with the menace of fake news and paid news.
- We will work with the Press Council of India and associations of newspapers and media to formulate and enforce a Code of Conduct on reporting in situations of natural disaster, communal conflict, riots, terrorist attacks and war in order to ensure a balance between the need to inform, need for restraint, maintenance of law and order, and interest of national security.
- Congress will pass a law to curb monopolies in the media, cross-ownership of different segments of the media and control of the media by other business organisations. Congress will refer cases of suspected monopolies to the Competition Commission of India.
- Congress promises to pass a law to preserve the freedom of the Internet and to prevent arbitrary and frequent shutdowns of the Internet.
- We will work with State Governments to formulate rules to require the police to extend protection to journalists working in conflict areas or investigating matters of public interest and to journalists whose lives are threatened or otherwise in danger.
- Congress promises to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1927 to restrict censorship of films to grounds of national security and obscenity. We will direct the Central Board of Film Certification to certify films according to transparent and reasonable criteria.