New Delhi: The Press Council of India (PCI) has noted with distress that coverage of the alleged suicide by a film actor by many media outlets are in contravention of the norms of Journalistic Conduct framed by the PCI and issued advisory reminding media to follow the Norms of Journalistic conduct.
The Media Advisory issued by PCI has stated that the Media should not narrate the story in a manner so as to induce the general public to believe in the complicity of the person indicted. Publishing information based on gossip about the line of investigation by the official agencies on the crime committed is not desirable. It is not advisable to vigorously report crime related issues on a day to day basis and comment on the evidence without ascertaining the factual matrix. Such reporting brings undue pressure in the course of fair investigation and trial.
The PCI has advised the Media to refrain from giving excessive publicity to the victim, witnesses, suspects and accused as it will amount to invasion of their privacy rights. Identification of witnesses by the Media needs to be avoided as it endangers them to come under pressure from the accused or his associates as well as investigating agencies. It has also advised the Media to not conduct its own parallel trial or foretell the decision to avoid pressure during investigation and trial.
Referring to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s alleged suicide, the PCI has stated that the reporting of the incident by some of the newspapers is also in violation of the norms formulated by the Council for reporting on suicide which prohibits publishing stories about suicide prominently and advises the media not to unduly repeat such stories.
PCI adds that the media is therefore expected not to use language which sensationalizes or normalizes suicides or presents it as a constructive solution to the problems and is also advised not to use sensational headlines or use photographs, video-footage or social media links while reporting on suicide cases.
-India Legal Bureau