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Sridevi death: CAIT ask IB minister to control media’s imaginary stories

Terming the reporting of the death of Actress Sridevi as too excess by the media largely based on imaginary grounds leading to mental torture and irritation among the people at large, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in its capacity as integral part of the civil society has sent a communication to Information & Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani calling her intervention for a self imposed code of conduct for media or an advisory of the Government based on mutual consultation for such reporting.

In its letter, the CAIT made it clear that it respects the independence of journalism, the fourth pillar of democracy and as such accept the fact that broadcasting/reporting of any news is entirely the domain of the journalism and no encroachment or interference should be allowed on this right of the media.

CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, however, said that the manner in which the reporting of death of Actress Sridevi has been done and different imaginary stories were cast by different electronic channels and that too repeatedly and continuously throughout multiple days has given mental torture even to news watchers and has raised certain important questions. This episode is merely an example and many such episodes have occurred in the past.

In its communication, the CAIT has said that the basic object of media is to broadcast the news in its right perspective and not to make the news. However, Casting different imaginary stories and that too minute to minute without having any authentic information amounts to the distortion of news.It is regretted that going one step further, arranging panel discussions with various experts based on imaginary stories leads to much excess reporting.The concept & fashion of advance media trial till the time a person is not proven guilty leads to character assassination & create an unnecessarily biased environment.

It further said that a combined appraisal of airtime devoted by all electronic channels to this news alone in past days will corroborate the fact that too excess reporting has been done which has certainly caused great irritation to news watchers.

On the basis of above vital observations and taking into consideration the repercussions of such reporting in civil society, we feel the need of your intervention in this critical matter which is not restricted to Actress Sridevi alone but as a fundamental matter of any civil society some kind of self-imposed code of conduct for media should exist or the Government may issue an advisory based on mutual consultation added CAIT.

The CAIT has suggested the Minister convene a meeting of the media houses, representative of civil society and other concerned persons to deliberate upon the issue in the larger interest of people in general.

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