I&B pearl of wisdom: may need licence to write this

New DelhiInformation and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari Monday said the media industry should consider holding a common exam for journalists, on the lines of that conducted by the Bar Council, after which they could be given a licence to pursue the profession.

Related: Indian media does not need external regulator, says CJI Sathasivam

"I think a good starting point (for media education) would be that rather than prescribing a curricula which is then standardised across institutions, possibly the media industry could think about at least having a common exam. Like you have a Bar exam, like you have a medical exam or exams which are conducted by other professional bodies, which then issue a licence, which enables you to pursue your profession," Tewari said at an event organised by CMS Academy. The examination, he said, could be conducted by a body of peers which would then issue a certificate that the person is fit to practise journalism. Shekhar Gupta's column: Mere paas media hai

Tewari added that there were good institutions to train journalists but there were also "fly-by-night" operators in the media education sector. He said professionals from diverse fields would not resent the idea of a common exam. "It would bring a certain amount of standardisation across the media space," he said. Within hours of the speech BJD MP Jay Panda tweeted: "Next, a govt licence b4 you can post on Twitter ;)?"

This is the minister's second speech on media standards/regulation in the past one week. Last week at a debate on media regulation he had spoken for statutory mandatory self-regulation.

Last year, Congress MP Meenakshi Natarajan had moved a private members' Bill for providing for a media regulatory authority with sweeping powers that included imposing a "ban" or "suspending coverage" of an event or incident that "may pose a threat to national security from foreign or internal sources".

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