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    Regulate digital media initially prior to TV and print media, Centre informs Supreme Court

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    Govt files counter affidavit in response to court proposition to frame standards for electronic media.

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    Govt files counter affidavit in reaction to court proposal to frame guidelines for electronic media.

    The government on Thursday stated the Supreme Court need to frame standards drawing the line between journalistic freedom and responsible journalism for digital media first instead of mainstream electronic and print media.

    Web-based news websites, YouTube channels as well as Over The Leading (OTT) platforms had huge capacity to end up being viral. Unlike mainstream publication and telecast, digital media was constantly widening its viewership, like in a loop, through multiple web and social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. What was composed or revealed in digital media had “major impact and capacity”, the Centre stated.

    Also read: The politics of hate speech

    ” While in a mainstream media (whether electronic or print), the publication/ telecast is a one-time act, the digital media has faster reach from broader series of viewership/ readership and has the possible to end up being viral because of a number of electronic applications like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook … Thinking about the severe impact and the potential, it is preferable that if this court chooses to undertake the exercise, it should first be carried out with regard to digital media as there currently exists sufficient structure and judicial declarations with regard to electronic media and print media,” the 33- page affidavit by the Centre said.

    The counter affidavit was filed in reaction to a proposition by the court to frame standards in relation to airing of programs with communal and derogatory content in the electronic media. A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had remained the broadcast of a program ‘Bindas Bol’ aired by Sudarshan News channel till further orders.

    It had stated the things of the program prima facie was to damn the Muslim neighborhood and implicate it of surreptitiously attempting to penetrate the civil services.

    Journalistic freedom

    Justice K.M. Joseph, on the Bench, had actually said reporters were bestowed with their power of totally free speech on behalf of individuals.

    ” Journalistic liberty is not outright. Reporters need to be reasonable in their debates. We have to bear in mind that their flexibility is the exact same as that of any other person,” Justice Joseph had stated.

    Justice Chandrachud had actually referred to how media tends to cover just one part of an investigation. Media had a duty to comment relatively.

    ” Credibility and image can be damaged,” Justice Chandrachud had actually observed.

    Justice Joseph suggested public transparency in ownership, shareholding patterns and earnings flow of visual media houses. He described whether federal government might pump in or hold back ads. The judge also pointed to the conduct of TELEVISION anchors on air, silencing their panellists or getting the limelight on their own and giving others barely any chance to air their point of view.

    ” Media can not fall nasty of requirements recommended on their own,” Justice Chandrachud had stated.

    The court had stated it would invite the very best minds in the country to suggest measures and standards. The Bench had, nevertheless, categorically said the workout to frame guidelines on media conduct could not be left to the State.

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