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[Sushant Singh Rajput case] No parallel trial; refrain from gossip, language normalising suicide: Press Council of India issues advisory

"The media is advised to refrain from giving excessive publicity to the victim, witnesses, suspects and accused as it will amount to an invasion of their privacy rights", the advisory states.

Rintu Mariam Biju

Raising concerns over the news coverage on the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the Press Council of India (PCI) has issued an advisory reminding the media to follow the norms of journalistic conduct.

The PCI advisory has urged media houses to refrain from conducting "its own parallel trials" or foretelling the decision of the probe agencies during the period of investigation and trial.

The advisory further states,

"The media is expected not to use language which sensationalizes or normalises suicides or presents it as a constructive solution to the problems. The Media is advised not to use sensational headlines or use photographs, video-footage or social media links while reporting on suicide cases."

Press Council of India advisory

This apart, the PCI advisory says the following:

  • 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 daily basis and comment on the evidence without ascertaining the factual matrix as such reporting brings undue pressure in the course of fair investigation and trial.

  • The media is advised to refrain from giving excessive publicity to the victim, witnesses, suspects and accused as it will amount to an 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.

[Read Advisory here]

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