In a bid to eradicate fake reporters, the Madras High Court has suggested to the Tamil Nadu government to recognise only the three prominent and major associations – the Chennai Press Club, the Madras Reporters Guild and the Madras Union of Journalists – and refrain from entertaining or recognising the other associations.
The bench made the oral observations while hearing a petition filed by one S Sekaran, who sought a direction to the Director General of Police to consider his representation dated September 26, 2019, to form a team and investigate the report conveying fallacious Idol theft data submitted by retired IG Pon Manickavel, special officer of the Idol Wing, before the court.
The bench said the fake reporters were blackmailing the officials, politicians and others because of a powerless Press Council of India. The bench also recorded the submission that Chennai Press Club election was last held in 1999 and there were 1,726 members. Similarly, on behalf of MUJ, it was represented that it had conducted the election in 2017 and had 580 members. On behalf of the Reporters Guild, it was submitted that the last election was held in 2018.
While holding that journalists were very essential since without reading newspapers or watching the visual media, the public would not know what was happening, the bench sought the government to regulate the visual media.
Further, directing all the parties to file their replies to the queries raised by the court earlier and their suggestions and proposals to streamline the media and to weed out the fake reporters, the bench posted the case to February 24 for further hearing.