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Summary: IT Standing Committee report on Ethical Standards in Media Coverage

The report underlines the need for checks and balances in digital media regulation, among other recommendations.

"It is a matter of grave concern that media which was once the most trusted weapon in the hands of the citizenry in our democracy and acted as trustees of the public interest is gradually losing its credibility and integrity where values and morality are being compromised," the Standing Committee on Information Technology led by MP Shashi Tharoor wrote in its report on Ethical Standards in Media Coverage presented to the Parliament on December 1. "Rampant instances of violations of code of conduct of ethics by the media reflected in the form of paid news, fake news, TRPs manipulation, media trials, sensationalism, biased reporting, etc. have placed a big question mark on its credibility in the minds of people which is not a good sign for the healthy democracy," the Committee remarked. Noting the above, the Committee has given the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) following observations on the efficacy of existing standards and recommendations that may be considered "in restoring the credibility of media as the 4th pillar of democracy." Here's a summary of the observations and recommendations made pertaining to digital and social media. For the complete report that covers observations and recommendations for print and electronics media (TV and radio), please refer here. Recommendations on digital and social media Ministries must work coherently to ensure code of ethics prescribed by IT Rules 2021 are followed by digital media too: Noting that social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, etc "have placed journalism in the hands of the citizens" the…

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