Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing concern over the haphazard growth of digital news platforms across the country in recent past, insisted on effective guidelines for the portals. The forum also reiterated its old demand to bring both television news channels and portals under the purview of Press Council of India (PCI).
“If necessary, the nomenclature of PCI should be changed to Media Council of India (MCI) with more teeth to the autonomous, statutory and quasi-judicial body which would serve as a real watchdog for newspapers, news agencies, news channels, digital news platforms and even censure those outlets for violation of guidelines,” said JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
The forum mentioned about the recent arrest of PratibimbaLive portal’s chief editor Taufiquddin Ahmad and news editor Asif Iqbal Hussain for spreading malicious news contents about State minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma. Assam police personnel arrested both of them under various sections of the IPC and also POCSO Act as Sarma’s daughter was dragged into the controversy.
Many others including portal reporters and social media users namely Puli Muchchary, N Nayanmoni Gogoi, Najrul Hussain, Najmul Haque, Mijul Ali etc were also detained or arrested and the State police
warned that necessary actions would be taken against all persons irrespective of their place of residence who may use any of the social media platforms for furthering the conspiracy.
“Disturbing news are pouring about incidents of vandalism at a media office in Jorhat, abusing news reporters in different places, arrest of an Assam based portal reporter in stealing cases, burning the effigy of a senior Assamese television anchor exposing his act of soliciting business with corporates, etc where the JFA argues for a united stand by all working journalists with clear conscience and wisdoms,” concluded the statement.