All media organisations must have internal ombudsman: N Ram

Responsibility, accountability responsiveness and trust are four principles that media must work on: Mumbai police commissioner


Geetanjali Minhas | December 29, 2010

Addressing a lecture organised by the Mumbai police on Media Ethics and Police-Media relations on Tuesday, N Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu, said that the media-police relationship is in good shape but generalisations by the media where police is stereotyped should be avoided.

"Unfortunately we have to accept media also plays a propagandist role. Media in India and elsewhere tends to be viewed in isolation from larger, complex, contradictory and difficult to fathom tendencies in society,” he said. 

Speaking on the issue of media ethics, Ram strongly emphasized on the need for having an ombudsman.  “All media organizations must have an internal news ombudsman (reader’s editor) and a Code of Practice to be adhered to so that issues of delinquencies on part of the media are addressed and external regulations are not imposed,” he added. 

“Institutional safeguards should be provided under law of the land for protecting interests of those who want to conduct independent honest investigations,” Ram added. 

Talking about digital media as a ‘promise waiting to be delivered’, Ram said, “In the Niira Radia case, Open magazine followed by Outlook caused a stir in the Indian political arena by deploying digital media to a considerable effect.”

Mumbai police commissioner, Sanjeev Dayal said, “Responsibility, accountability responsiveness and trust are four principles that media must work on and they are directly proportionate with power.”

“The police needs to interact with the media on a daily basis. So both sides have to work on building a relationship based on trust that trusts and understands needs of both, he added. Police too must share information with media that serves larger interests of society and not narrow personal interests.  Process of information should be transparent, timely and truthful,” he added.




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