The Indian Press has played a creditable role in strengthening the unity and integrity of our country. In the 2009 general elections, the media to a great extent helped in the rejection of regional, caste and communal politics and in the elimination of criminals in politics. Remarkable role of the media can be cited to get justice for the aggrieved-Jessica Lal. Many successful sting operations have been carried out by the media-BMW.
On the flip side, the media is working under the influence of the market forces in planting stories on the news pages. There is a new concept of advertorials which is unethical. News is being increasingly sensationalised for commercial gain. The reporters sometimes have to face criminal charges (Uma Khurana's case). The action of throwing a shoe at Home Minister Chidambaram by a journalist was not only unethical but illegal. Such incidents do tarnish the image of the media.
The Editors Guild of India and the Press Council of India have raised questions on violation of journalistic ethics during the Gujarat riots and UP (Ram temple agitation) and on many other occasions. It is time for professional bodies of journalists to ponder over these issues and devise a code for restraint and regulation. A code from the government is unwelcome as it could stifle the media. The book deals with journalism ethics and may be found useful by the readers.
S K Aggarwal (b.1938 ), a post graduate from University of Delhi in 1961, retired from The Economic Times as Deputy News Editor after a long stint with the Times group. A keen watcher of socio-economic and political events in India and abroad, he has written several articles in newspapers and periodicals. He has been delivering lectures on journalism in most of the colleges of the Delhi University. Besides this, he has also been teaching at The Times School of Journalism, YMCA, Pioneer School of Journalism. He was also one of the proud founders of the Amity School of Journalism and delivered lectures there.
He has widely travelled in India and abroad. He is a member of several professional bodies like the Forum of Financial Writers, Authors Guild of India and the Press Club of India. He has authored seven books, namely, Press at the Crossroads in India, Media Credbility, whither Indian Democracy, Handbook for Journalists and Editorial Excellence, Investigative Journalism. The last one, Stock Markets and Financial Journalism (1998, Shipra) was released by our worthy Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Preface to Second Edition
Foreword to First Edition
Preface to First Edition
1. Journalists and Ethics
Journalists and politicization-Mandal Commission and Press-Bofors issue and ethics-Difference of opinion between. The Hindu, Editors Kasturi and N. Ram-Ram holds Press Conference in Delhi-Kasturi clarifies his and-Ram suspended-Chitra resigns from Indian Express, raises ethical issues-St Kitts issue and Press role-Seema Mustafa raises questions of propriety I India Today and quits-Corporate war and Press ethics-Newspaper proprietors and politicians-Pressmen and industrialists-Journalists and privileges-Emergency and Press-Press Council's judgments on violations of ethics-Devi Lal abuses Arun Shourie, the latter reproduces the abuses-Press Council's judgment to avoid unpar liamentary language in newspapers-Right to reply and ethics.
2. Communal, Caste Pressures and Press Ethics
Communal divide-Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue and Press-Press Council Committee's report on Press coverage of Ayodhya incidents in 1990-Press Council guidelines on communal riots coverage-Anti-reservation stir in Gujarat (1987) and Press-Deccan Herald story and riots.
3. Right to Privacy and Ethics
What is right to privacy?-Right to privacy and the Indian Press-Pamella Bordes case and privacy-Dilshad, Sunday Observer controversy and privacy-Bombay nuns murder case and privacy-Press Council's judgement and guidelines on right to privacy-J.B. Patnaik, Illustrated Weekly and privacy-Defamation Bill (1987) and right to privacy-Second Indian Press Commission and right to privacy-Calcutt Committee and right to privacy in UK-Right to privacy in USA and other countries.
4. Electronic Media and Ethics
Electronic media and Blue Star operation coverage-Charles Sobhraj's escape from Tihar jail-Mrs Gandhi's assassination-Delhi bandh (1988)-Decision not to show telefilms like 'Rajiv India', 'New Delhi Times' and electronic media-Media Advisory Committee guidelines (1982)-Petition filed by Romesh Thapar (Seminar) in the Supreme Court against misuse of media by government (1987)-States complaint against bias-Indira Gandhi, Raji Gandhi and media-Inducation of K.K. Tewari as Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting during 1989 general elections-Gross misuse of media during Tewari's time-Distortion of Madhu Limaye's article and his protest to PM-Electronic media campaign against oposition leaders, particularly against V.P. Singh-Congress attempt to mussle print media-Chanda Committee report (1966)-Verghese Committee Report (1978)-Prasar Bharati Bill (1989)-Varadan Committee report (1991)-Cable TV invasion on India and its control-TV second channel license.