Stop abuse of media in elections sign now

We, the citizens, are deeply concerned about the blatant misuse of print and electronic media by parties and candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and about the media allowing itself to be abused. This constitutes a gross breach of trust with the reader/viewer who expects unbiased and fair news coverage during elections. Moreover, the media, blatantly violating the Press Council of Indias Guidelines of Election Reporting -1996, stands discredited so far as its role as fourth pillar of the democracy is concerned.

The distinction between news, views and political campaigning (read advertising) is no longer clear. The use of 'advt' or 'marketing media initiative' tag in small font-size printed is not sufficient to inform the reader whether the content is news, views or paid advertising by an election candidate. Some newspapers dont even care to put this small print.

Broadly speaking, the influence of marketing heads is growing over the influence of editors within media houses in decision-making related to the content. The person who collects advertisements for media and acts as a correspondent, is often the same in smaller districts and sub-district places. These people enjoy due media accreditation and often promote those who issue advertisements (and block those who don't).

The amount which is spent on paid advertising, advertorials and other manners like 'marketing media initiative' and likes, to solicit earned and paid media coverage of a candidate during elections, often crosses the spending cap of Rs 25 lakhs. Hence, media is colluding with parties and candidates in violating the model code of conduct during elections. Moreover, the transactions for advertisements in the garb of news items are not even shown in the records. Newspapers are not required to file financial statements to their regulatory authorities as a result of which it is difficult to know their exact incomes or the sources on this account. They should be required to do so partywise & candidatewise so that the figures given by the candidates may be cross-checked.

There is a need to enact a law to regulate political parties. The ceiling should be all inclusive covering expenditure by friends & relatives also which is not included at present and is used to flout the ceiling. Also the penalty on violating the spending cap in elections should be more severe and applicable on the current election cycle as well. Presently the action taken on violating the spending cap is applicable to next election cycle only, which is clearly not a deterrent.

The electronic media must also have an equivalent of a Press Council to govern their conduct.

We also support the growing demand for all newspapers to appoint an ombudsman to inquire into complaints against them.

But, fundamentally, we would like to see the media go back to its non-partisan role of being the watchdog of democracy. It should not compromise its independent position for the sake of commercial interests. When people are losing faith in the democratic institutions of the country the media should not accelerate the degeneration. It is expected to play a role in restoring peoples confidence in democracy.

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Latest Signatures

  • 22 November 2015200. Pankaj Shields
    I support this petition
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  • 29 September 2015197.
    बहुत अच्‍छी पहल है। मैं आपके साथ हूं।
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  • 27 July 2015190. Dgabriele Davidson
    В Address Madurai Organization Pennurimai Iyakkam
  • 11 July 2015189. Jbsingh Roman
    Stop abuse of media not only in elections but in every matters being published / Telecastings. Address Vikas Nagar , Lucknow -226022 Organization Ret Engineer.
  • 07 July 2015188. Vivek S
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    I feel same Organization Indian Society Against Smoking
  • 29 May 2015185. Ajai P
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  • 26 May 2015184. Suman T
    В Address Gorakhpur Organization В
  • 24 May 2015183. Nitish C
    Many media personalities have volunatarily surrendered to Pied Piper's allurements. Address 340 Hauz Khas Apts., N. Delhi 110 016 Organization Formerly Special Correspondent, The Hindu and Political Editor, Deccan Herald
  • 20 May 2015182. Tanu Kerr
    I support this petition
  • 13 May 2015181. Pushkar R
    I support this petition
  • 29 April 2015180. Pradeep E
    The media should also stop focussing on its clientelle and take the debates to suit their trp ratings. Some of the anchors dont even have a clue of ground realities nor basics of a democractic polity. Address Bangalore Organization Context India
  • 10 April 2015179. Chnarendra Anderson
    I am a senior journalist with more than two and half decades experience in reporting, but I feel ashamed of recent trends. These need to be checked. Even major media players, who preaches values repeatedly also resorting to such unethical practices. Addre
  • 28 March 2015178. Adiyog Vasquez
    Media should act as a watchdog, as a representative of people's voice. We condemn the role of media played in LS elections as a Bhonpu of parties and contestents. Address 19/1151, Indira Nagar, Lko Organization Awaz
  • 26 March 2015177. Jaideep C
    I support this petition
  • 22 March 2015176. Jagatheesan C
    Better stop reading these Views papers and viewing the media which are their castiest masters idea Address #668 5th A Main Road, 8th Cross HAL 3rd Stage Bangalore Organization Retired Senior manager (Design)
  • 19 March 2015175.
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  • 13 March 2015174. T A
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Information

Rose BryantBy:
SustainabilityIn:
Petition target:
Press Council of India, Election Commission, Editors and owners of media houses

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