Stating that in the absence of a proper eligibility criterion, the quality of reportage in the country
is getting badly affected, Press Council
of India (PCI) chairperson Justice (retd) Markandey Katju on
up a committee to recommend the minimum qualification required to
become a journalist.
In a statement, the PCI chairperson said that for some
time the need for a qualification for entry into the profession of
journalism had been felt.
"In the law profession, an LLB degree as well as registration in a
bar council is required. Similarly, for entry into the medical
profession the necessary qualification is an MBBS degree and also
registration with the medical council," Katju said.
The committee comprises PCI members Shravan Garg, Rajeev Sabade
and Dr Ujjwala Barve, associate professor, Department of
Communication and Journalism, University of Pune.
Justice Katju added that for becoming a teacher, a teacher's training
certificate or degree is required so was the case with other
professions. Katju said that however at present there is no
qualification for entry into the profession of journalism.
"Hence very often persons with little or inadequate training in
journalism enter the profession, and this often leads to negative
effects, because such untrained persons often do not maintain high
standards of journalism," he said.
For quite some time therefore, it has been felt that there must be
some legal qualification before one can enter the profession of
journalism, Katju said.
He said the media has an important influence on the lives of the
people and the time has now come when some qualification should be
prescribed by law.
Katju said that the team appointed by him will consider all
aspects and submit a report at an early date suggesting the
qualifications a person should have before he can be allowed to
enter the profession of journalism.
"On receipt of the report I intend to place it before the full
press council, and after getting its approval shall forward it to
the government for initiating suitable legislation for this
purpose," Katju said.
The central and all state governments and journalism departments
and institutes in the country have been requested to extend
cooperation to the team, Katju said.
"There are no doubt that many institutions impart teaching in
journalism (some of which is very unsatisfactory) but there is as
yet no legal requirement for having any qualification before
entering the profession," he added.
Of late, Justice Katju has been very
critical of the Indian media especially its reporting after terror
attacks. He even alleged that the Indian media has created
imaginary monster to defame the Muslim community.