3 August 2008

Arushi and the return of the responsibility debate

It is becoming clear that the Arushi murder case in Noida has become a test case in measuring the (ir)responsibility of journalists. The television channels that went overboard in 2007 in their zealous search for television rating points (TRPs) and/or that Big Big Story are facing criticism across the board.
An article by Indira Jaisingh, an eminent lawyer, in today's edition of The Hindu makes that point with the following intro.
"While freedom of the press is vital to retain accountability in the judicial system, the thin line between reporting facts and expressing opinions on them is being increasingly crossed, as it happened recently in the Aarushi murder case. What about accountability to those whose reputations are being damaged in the process?"
Libel laws are weak in India, and even more weak are institutions that disseminate information, such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the police, which often brief the media without knowing the consequences of what they are doing.
Who is going to bell the cat? Certainly not article-writers. I wonder if the Press Council of India can act on its own (suo-motto, as they say in the judiciary).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not suo-motto but Suo moto [alt. Suo motu] "Upon one's own initiative". Usually used when a court of law, upon its own initiative,....

ps Hope you dont mind.I stumbled into your blog and saw that.