The Press Council of India (PCI) issued an advisory on Friday regarding the media circus surrounding Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, condemning the conduct of journalists sensationalizing the legal dispute for TRPs.
“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.”, the advisory stated, highlighting that treating gossip and unverified evidence as fact could result in an unfair trial for the accused.
The advisory also stated, “The Media is advised 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.”
The PCI criticized media channels for becoming their own judge and jury in the matter, “The Media is advised not to conduct its own parallel trial or foretell the decision to avoid pressure during investigation and trial.”
Most importantly, the advisory called out the insensitive reporting surrounding matters of alleged suicide as a violation of norms. “The media is expected not to use language which sensationalises 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.”